Blue Crabs get shut out by Sugar Land
After splitting with division-leading York, team has just 6 hits versus Skeeters
The offense of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs wasn’t able to get the production it needed on Monday night in the first of a four-game series due to the pitching and defense of Sugar Land.
Led by left-handed starter Aaron Thompson, the Skeeters shut out the Blue Crabs 2-0 in Game 1 at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
Southern Maryland (23-39 overall, 13 games behind York in the Atlantic League’s Freedom Division) managed just six hits in a contest that lasted 2 hours 8 minutes. The Blue Crabs had just two runners reach second base and left five runners on base for the game.
The series continued Tuesday with Game 3 scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.
The loss comes after the Blue Crabs eked out a 6-5 walkoff home victory in 10 innings over Freedom Division leader York (37-27) in a four-game series finale on Sunday, splitting the four games. York took the opener of the series, 12-8 in 11 innings and Saturday’s contest, 5-2. Friday night, Blue Crabs starter Brian Burres won his 100th professional game in a 5-2 win.
Monday belonged to Sugar Land’s Thompson, a former first-round pick of the Florida Marlins who picked
up his third win of the season. Thompson threw seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, allowing just five hits. Zech Zinicola got his second save of the season, retiring three of four batters with one strikeout in the bottom of the ninth.
Blue Crabs starter Tim Sexton (2-3) pitched a complete game in the losing effort, allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
“We had a big win yesterday and today we knew it was going to be a fight. We always have tight games with Sugar Land,” said Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens, who has several players on the roster injured. “Both pitchers did well
and even though we lost it was good to see Tim have control, he threw the ball hard. We just didn’t swings the bats well and you have to rise to the occasion.”
Sugar Land (34-30, three games back of York for Freedom Division lead) also had six hits in Monday’s game. The Skeeters scored the first run of the game in the top of the first on a one-out RBI single from left fielder Jeremy Barfield, bringing Josh Prince to home plate. In the fifth, Prince hit a two-out RBI single, scoring Alberto Cordero that eventually capped the scoring.
On Sunday, the Blue Crabs split the series as third baseman Bryant Nelson singled to right field in the bottom of the 10th, scoring Norberto Susini. It was the Blue Crabs’ 58th walk-off win in team history.
“That was a big win for us. We had been struggling a little bit and York was the first-place team in the division,” said the 42-yearold Nelson, who had two hits in Monday’s loss. “It is always good to compete at a high level with the better teams.”
Ian Marshall got the win out of the bullpen for the Blue Crabs, pitching the top of the 10th, allowing just two hits with one strikeout.
Southern Maryland, which had 17 hits in the game and left 12 runners on base, was led by KuanJen Chen and D’Arby Myers with three hits each. Angel Flores finished with two hits, including a two-run home run in the third.
Saturday, the game was tied at 2 until York scored two runs in the eighth inning, on a two-out, tworun homer by Alfredo Marte, and once in the ninth. The Blue Crabs
had runners on second and third base in the bottom of the ninth, but a Jon Dziomba groundout ended the game against York closer Mike DeMark who picked up his 20th save of the season.
Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson, the 2003 La Plata High School graduate, ended up with a no-decision, striking out 13 batters in seven innings of work. He allowed just two runs on six hits and one walk. Brian Grening gave up the Marte homer to suffer the loss in relief.
Burres collected his 100th career win in Friday’s win. He went six innings and struck out eight innings, surrendering just one run, that a leadoff homer to start the game, on four hits with three walks. His record stands at 5-4.
Myers was 3 for 3 with two RBIs, a double and a run scored. Flores
went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a double on the night. Zach Wilson added two hits with a two RBIs and a double.
In Thursday’s affair, the Blue Crabs rallied from being down 7-3 in the third and 8-4 in the seventh to force extra innings.
Myers was 4 for 5 with three doubles, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. His triple led off the bottom of the ninth with the Blue Crabs down 8-7, immediately scoring on an Angel Sanchez sacrifice fly to tie the game at 8. Sanchez also had a three-run homer to bring the home team to within one in the seventh.
The teams combined for six home runs, the sixth breaking the 8-all tie in the 11th, a two-out, three-run shot by York’s Travis Witherspoon.
Blue Crabs starter Tim Sexton pitched all nine innings in a 2-0 loss to the Sugar Land Skeeters in the first of a four-game series on Monday at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. Sexton struck out five batters and allowed just two runs on six hits with one walk.