Blue Crabs un­able to avoid sweep ver­sus York

Swept by York as vis­i­tors break open games in 10th, 9th, 7th in­nings

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

The South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs had a 1-0 lead with one out in the top of the sev­enth in­ning Sun­day af­ter­noon in the fi­nale of a three-game se­ries with the York Rev­o­lu­tion at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Stadium in Wal­dorf. And the Blue Crabs had one of its top pitch­ers this sea­son in left-han­der Brian Bur­res toss­ing a four-hit shutout with nine strike­outs.

Then, just as in the pre­vi­ous two games Fri­day and Satur­day, the big in­ning hap­pened.

Bur­res was pulled out of the game with run­ners on first and third and one out, but the Blue Crabs bullpen was un­able to hold off York’s high-pow­ered of­fense for much longer as the vis­i­tors ended up send­ing 10 hit­ters to the plate in the in­ning and scor­ing five runs in what would be­come an even­tual 6-3 win and a se­ries sweep.

South­ern Mary­land (38-62 over­all, 12-18 sec­ond half) fell back into last place in the At­lantic League’s Free­dom Divi­sion stand­ings, six games be­hind York, en­ter­ing a six-game road trip that be­gan Tues­day night in Lancaster and con­tin­ues in Som­er­set over the week­end.

The Blue Crabs, who were off on Mon­day, fell to York 6-3 in 10 in­nings Fri­day night and 3-0 on Satur­day night with all three runs scor­ing in the ninth. Thurs­day night, the Blue Crabs wrapped up a home se­ries with Lancaster, a 7-5 loss which saw the Barn­storm­ers plate five runs in the fi­nal three in­nings.

Sun­day, Bur­res lost his sec­ond-straight de­ci­sion to drop his record to 8-6. He fin­ished with the four hits and nine strike­outs along with two runs charged to him af­ter giv­ing up a walk and a sin­gle to start the sev­enth be­fore be­ing re­placed by Nav­ery Moore, who gave up a two-run sin­gle to for­mer Blue Crab Keith Castillo that put York ahead.

Bur­res’ also recorded his 100th strike­out of the sea­son in the sec­ond in­ning.

“Giv­ing up that walk in the be­gin­ning of the sev­enth re­ally turned the game around and I can’t do that,” said Bur­res, who is sec­ond in the league in ERA at 2.71, 0.01 be­hind New

Bri­tain’s Cole John­son, fifth in strike­outs with 107 and tied for third in wins with eight. “We are play­ing good base­ball and com­pet­ing, we just have to keep work­ing. We had some mo­men­tum to­day, we just couldn’t keep it go­ing our way.”

York (58-42, 18-12), the first-half Free­dom cham­pi­ons which lead the Free­dom by a half game over Sugar Land en­ter­ing Tues­day, were sparked by Michael Rock­ett with three hits and two runs scored and Castillo, who fin­ished 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

“Ev­ery time we play York, it is a close game and then all of a sud­den some­thing hap­pens in the ball­game where we can’t over­come that one pitch or one out,” Blue Crabs man­ager Jeremy Owens said. “Good teams take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties and run with it. That is why York won the first half and we’ve got to try to learn fast to stop the snow­ball ef­fect.”

Bran­don Chaves hit a bases-loaded sin­gle, then Joel Guz­man was hit by a pitch to bring in a run and, af­ter Ian Mar­shall came in for Moore, An­dres Perez added a RBI sac­ri­fice fly to give York the 5-1 lead.

Short­stop Eric Gar­cia, who was 2 for 3 at the plate, brought the Blue Crabs to within 5-3 on a two-run dou­ble. Later, af­ter back-to-back twoout walks, Jamar Walton struck out with the bases loaded. York tacked one more run in the eighth on sac­ri­fice fly by Castillo and pre­vailed.

Satur­day’s game was score­less up un­til the ninth when York sent eight hit­ters to the plate to score three runs, all off of Blue Crabs closer Cody Ep­p­ley, to pick up the win.

With two run­ners on, Rock­ett dou­bled in the first run of the game and, two bat­ters later, Josh Wil­son drove in Kevin Rivers with a sac­ri­fice fly. The next hit­ter, Alex Mar­quez, sin­gled in his first run in a York uni­form with a sin­gle to cap off the scor­ing. Mike DeMark came on in the bot­tom of the ninth and shut the Blue Crabs down in or­der to record his league-lead­ing 27th save.

Starter Tim Sex­ton went 7 2/3 in­nings, sur­ren­der­ing just three hits and strik­ing out six with a walk for South­ern Mary­land. He had a two-hit shutout through seven and re­tired 11 straight bat­ters at one point in the con­test.

Of­fen­sively, the Blue Crabs left eight run­ners on, in­clud­ing the bases loaded in the sev­enth. Walton and Gus­tavo Molina fin­ished 2 for 4 at the plate to lead the hosts.

York starter Frank Gai­ley struck out nine bat­ters and did not give up any runs on just four hits with two walks be­fore be­ing lifted with two outs in the bot­tom of the sev­enth.

In the se­ries opener af­ter Wil­son tied the game for York on a solo home run in the sev­enth, the Rev­o­lu­tion scored three runs on three hits in the 10th against Blue Crabs re­liever Craig Stem to win it in ex­tra in­nings.

The big hit was a Rivers two-RBI triple and he came home on a Rock­ett base hit. DeMark al­lowed a two-out sin­gle to Bryant Nel­son in the bot­tom of the in­ning but no more in pick­ing up the save.

Thurs­day, South­ern Mary­land got to within 6-5 in the eighth af­ter an An­gel Sanchez two-run sin­gle but no closer in the se­ries-end­ing loss to Lancaster.

Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thomp­son, a 2003 La Plata High School grad­u­ate, went the first six in­nings and got a no-de­ci­sion af­ter he left with the game tied at 2. He gave up just two runs on eight hits with two walks and three strike­outs.

The Blue Crabs were led by An­toan Richard­son with three hits and a run scored, while Sanchez and Gar­cia had two hits and two RBIs each.

Robert Car­son lasted just one-third of an in­ning in re­lief of Thomp­son to take the loss, al­low­ing two runs on one hit.

PHOTO BY BERT HIND­MAN

Blue Crabs left-handed starter Brian Bur­res suf­fered the loss in Sun­day’s 6-3 set­back ver­sus the York Rev­o­lu­tion at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Stadium in Wal­dorf. Bur­res went 6 1/3 in­nings, al­lowed just two runs on four hits with nine strike­outs.

PHOTO BY BERT HIND­MAN

Blue Crabs sec­ond base­man Gary Brown had an RBI sin­gle in the bot­tom of the fifth in­ning in Sun­day’s 6-3 loss to the York Rev­o­lu­tion at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Stadium in Wal­dorf.

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