Blue Crabs take three of four at Lan­caster Four runs in sixth lifts team to win in se­ries fi­nale

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­

The South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs limped into the all-star break with a 1-6 record to start the sec­ond half and the four days of rest could not have come at a bet­ter time.

Get­ting back to ac­tion, the Blue Crabs are receiving the pos­i­tive re­sults they’ve been wait­ing for. And they con­tin­ued Mon­day night with a 7-3 win over the Lan­caster Barn­storm­ers at Clip­per Mag­a­zine Sta­dium in Lan­caster Pa., com­plet­ing a four-game se­ries that saw the vis­i­tors take three. It was the first se­ries win for the Blue Crabs since June 22.

South­ern Mary­land (30-50 over­all, 4-7 sec­ond half) was just two games be­hind first-place Sugar Land in the At­lantic League’s Free­dom Di­vi­sion sec­ond-half stand­ings en­ter­ing Tues­day, when the Blue Crabs con­tin­ued their road trip with the be­gin­ning of a three-game se­ries ver­sus York, the first-half di­vi­sion cham­pion which is a half-game be­hind Sugar Land.

The se­ries con­tin­ued at 6:30 tonight and fin­ishes at 11 a.m. Thurs­day at Peo­plesBank Park in York, Pa., then the Blue Crabs are home briefly over the week­end ver­sus Lib­erty Di­vi­sion cham­pion Long Is­land.

On Mon­day, the Blue Crabs broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the top of the sixth in­ning. Eric Gar­cia pro­vided the big blow with a three-run home run.

Of­fen­sively, the vis­i­tors had 16 hits led by Gary Brown, who was 4 for 5 at the plate with an RBI sin­gle in the third and a dou­ble. Gus­tavo Molina

Bryant Nel­son fin­ished 2 for 4 on the night and now has 1,040 ca­reer hits and was 12 away from ty­ing, and 13 from break­ing the At­lantic League all-time hits mark en­ter­ing Tues­day.

“It’s good that we are fi­nally get­ting healthy and start­ing to play good base­ball,” said Nel­son, who was a com­bined 10 for 17 with five RBIs in the se­ries. “We just need to do the lit­tle things and give our­selves a chance to win in the end. I’m just fo­cused on play­ing and we just need to come to­gether as a team.”

Blue Crabs start­ing pitcher Daryl Thomp­son, a 2003 La Plata High School grad­u­ate, picked up his third win of the sea­son. He went 6 2/3 in­nings, al­low­ing three runs on five hits with three strike­outs and no walk. He was backed by the bullpen as three pitch­ers com­bined to not give up any runs on just two hits with two strike­outs in 2 1/3 in­nings. For the four-game se­ries, the bullpen sur­ren­dered just one run on six hits and struck out nine bat­ters in 12 1/3 in­nings.

“Four days off from base­ball at the all-star break re­ally helped us, go­ing 3-1 in Lan­caster was huge for us,” said Thomp­son, re­fer­ring to a Barn­storm­ers team that was 4-6 in the Free­dom Di­vi­sion com­ing into Tues­day. “The pitch­ing and hit­ting is start­ing to come to­gether. We are stay­ing pos­i­tive for this sec­ond half.”

Sun­day, the Barn­storm­ers pulled out a 3-2 win as Blue Crabs re­liever Robert Car­son walked in a run with the bases loaded in the bot­tom of the sev­enth which pro­vided the even­tual game-win­ning run. Nel­son was 3 for 4 with two RBIs.

Blue Crabs starter Gaby Her­nan­dez gave up two runs on four hits with four walks and two strike­outs over six in­nings in a no-de­ci­sion.

On Satur­day, Wil­son’s two-run home run in the fourth gave the Blue Crabs a 3-0 lead which stood up for a 3-2 win. The vis­i­tors had just four hits but held on for the win be­hind stel­lar pitch­ing.

Starter Brian Bur­res went six in­nings, al­low­ing just two runs on six hits with a walk and five strike­outs. Cody Ep­p­ley al­lowed the ty­ing run to get on base in the bot­tom of the ninth but re­tired the next three hit­ters in or­der to pick up his 15th save of the sea­son.

Wil­son went 2 for 4 at the plate in the game.

Fri­day, with the score tied at 4 in the top of the ninth, D’Arby My­ers pushed across an RBI sin­gle to score Gar­cia for the even­tual-game win­ning run on Fri­day.

Lan­caster led 4-2 after three in­nings, but the Blue Crabs tied the game at 4 in the fifth.

Nel­son was 4 for 5 at the plate. Molina was also 2 for 4 with a RBI and a run scored, while Ja­mar Walton added a home run with two RBIs. His 2-run blast put the Blue Crabs on the board in the sec­ond.

Car­son picked up his first win of the sea­son after two score­less of re­lief. Ep­p­ley struck out Caleb Gindl picked up his 14th save, end­ing the game by strik­ing out Caleb Gindl. and Zach Wil­son each fin­ished with three hits in the win.

“It’s a great feel­ing to come back and win the se­ries,” Blue Crabs man­ager Jeremy Owens said. “It builds con­fi­dence and lets us know we are head­ing in the right di­rec­tion. The big­gest dif­fer­ence I see is guys hav­ing rested legs and key play­ers are back in the lineup. We are get­ting health­ier ev­ery­day and as long as we stay there we should be in good shape.”

Blue Crabs third base­man Twitter: @aj­ma­son301

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.