Blue Crabs get shut out by Sugar Land

Af­ter split­ting with divi­sion-lead­ing York, team has just 6 hits ver­sus Skeeters

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

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.

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