Blue Crabs drop three of four to Long Island
Give up three homers in series finale defeat
Things were going in the favor of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs for once.
Coming off a 2-0 shutout win of Long Island on Saturday night to end the team’s eight-game losing streak, the first five to start the second half, the Blue Crabs led 3-1 after three innings in Sunday afternoon’s four-game series finale.
However, Long Island turned the tides by scoring back-to-back fourrun innings in the fourth and fifth, which included two home runs, en route to a 9-6 victory at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
Long Island (44-32 overall, currently the best record in the Atlantic League; 4-2 second half,
one-game behind Somerset), collected eight of its 13 hits in the fourth and fifth innings combined in Sunday’s win to take three of four games in the series. The Ducks opened with a 5-3 win Thursday and added a 6-2 victory on Friday.
Southern Maryland (2749, 1-6) is already four games behind Sugar Land after the opening week of the second half, which will resume Friday in Lancaster to begin a seven-game road trip that will also take the Blue Crabs to York starting Tuesday.
At 7 tonight, Lancaster hosts the Atlantic League All-Star game where five Blue Crabs — pitchers Brian Burres and Cody Eppley, infielders Michael Snyder and Bryant Nelson and outfielder Jamar Walton — will play for the Freedom Division team, which will be managed by former manager Stan Cliburn, who currently heads the Liberty Division’s New Britain Bees.
“This was our best loss of the year,” Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens said. “We were never out of that game and had some opportunities. We are going to reload for the next four days and come back strong for the next series in Lancaster.”
In the fourth, former Blue Crab Anthony Vega, who homered on the game’s first pitch, brought Long Island to within 3-2 on a two-out RBI single after an error by Nelson at third base kept the inning alive. Vega was 3 for 5 in the contest, needing only a double to complete the cycle.
Fehlandt Lentini followed up with a three-run homer on a 1-ball, 2-strike pitch to put Long Island on top 5-3 and it never trailed again.
The Ducks offense unloaded again in the fifth when catcher Mike Blanke hit a two-run homer, the team’s third of the game and, two batters later, Vega collected a RBI triple to push the lead to five runs. Delta Cleary Jr., who had his second fourhit game of the series, the first on Thursday, gave the visitors a 9-3 lead on a two-out RBI single.
The Blue Crabs cut the deficit to 9-5 on a two-run homer by Dominican Republic native Alfredo Marte, who was acquired in a trade with York on Thursday for a player to be named later. He also had an RBI single in the bottom of the first.
Antoan Richardson, who was signed and activated Friday, scored a run in the eighth for the Blue Crabs. as Michael Snyder grounded into a bases loaded double play.
Long Island starter Bruce Kern (3-1) picked up the win, pitching six innings with seven strikeouts, allowing three runs on eight hits with four walks. Todd Coffey picked up his 13th save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth. Eric Garcia doubled against Cof fey with two outs to bring the tying run to the plate, but Angel Sanchez grounded out to end the game.
Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson, a 2003 La Plata High School graduate, took the loss to fall to 2-6 on the season. Thompson lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs, three earned, on 11 hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
“Long Island got some timely hits when they needed to,” Thompson said. “I have to pick my guys up and I’ve been giving up hits. I wasn’t too happy today, but for the next four days we just have to rest and regroup after the all-star break.”
Southern Maryland had a 15-hit attack led by D’Arby Myers and Nelson with three hits each. Ryde Rodriguez also had two hits, including a solo homer to lead off the second, his first of the season.
“I want to help this team win games,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve had a good time so far, we just need to start winning more. I think we will be just fine, everyone must pull together and get healthy.”
Myers now is on a 12game hitting streak with three homers and eight RBIs during that span and has hit safely in 22 of 24 games. Currently at 1,030 career hits, he is two hits away from overtaking Ray Navarrette for the second most in league history.
This season, Long Island holds a 10-3 advantage over the Blue Crabs, outscoring them 79-41.
Saturday, Burres and the bullpen of Scott Maine, Craig Stem and Cody Eppley combined to pitch a seven-hit shutout to go with 10 strikeouts in Saturday’s win.
Burres, who improved to 6-4 on the season, threw six innings and struck out seven, allowed just two hits with two walks on 108 pitches. Eppley got the save, his 13th of the season, pitching a scoreless ninth despite two hits and added a strikeout.
Blue Crabs starting pitcher Daryl Thompson, a 2003 La Plata High School graduate, lasted just 4 1/3 innings in Sunday afternoon’s 9-6 loss to the Long Island Ducks at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. Thompson gave up seven runs, three earned, on 11 hits with two strikeouts and a walk.