Blue Crabs fall to Lancaster
Lose on Halton’s second home run of the night; La Plata grad Thompson goes 6 in no-decision
After snapping a four-game losing streak with an 8-3 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers in the first of a three-game series on Tuesday night, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs were in a seesaw battle on Wednesday.
In a game that featured several lead changes, Lancaster got the last lead when Sean Halton hit his second home run of the night, a three-run blast off of reliever Navery Moore, to eventually hold off the Blue Crabs for the 6-3 win at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, Pa.
Halton went 2 for 4 at the plate with four RBIs and two runs scored for Lancaster (49-53 overall, 14-18 second half entering Thursday).
The Blue Crabs (39-63, 13-19) are in last place in the Atlantic League’s Freedom Division second-half standings, seven games behind York, which had a six-game winning streak entering Thursday. Their three-game series at Lancaster finished up Thursday and Southern Maryland starts a three-game
series in Somerset tonight, then it comes home to start a seven-game homestand Monday night versus Bridgeport.
“We bumped Navery in there and he had a couple days off. He left a pitch up and Halton hit a shot that sealed it,” Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens said. “You have to throw strikes and attack the zone. We are going to have opportunities to put up runs on the board. We just came up short tonight. We have to get a few guys hot to make a run at this. The series is even and now we have a chance [Thursday] to win this thing before we go to Somerset.”
Closer Cory Burns picked up the save, striking out three of the four batters that he faced. He struck out the final two batters to end the game, allowing just one hit, a single to Angel Sanchez with one out in the inning.
Lancaster starter Terry Doyle pitched a no-decision, going 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Pete Andrelczyk picked up the win as he pitched one-third of an inning and was charged with no runs on one hit and struck out one batter.
Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson, a 2003 La Plata High School graduate, pitched to a no-decision, his third in the last four starts. Thompson went six innings, surrendering just three runs on seven hits with two walks and one strikeout and walked two batters. The six innings marked Thompson’s fifth-straight start of going at least six.
“Our starting pitching has been playing well, we just have to get our bullpen going and keep the bats rolling,” Owens said.
Robert Carson, after a scoreless seventh, allowed back-toback singles to begin the eighth then was relieved by Moore who gave up the Halton blast. Carson suffered the loss for Southern Maryland as he was charged with two runs to go along with two hits while striking out two.
Lancaster took a 1-0 lead in the third when Yusuke Kajimoto drove in Kevin Ahrens on a single. The Blue Crabs responded with two runs to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth on Zach Wilson’s two-out single. The Barnstormers tied the game at 2 when Kajimoto scored on Trayvon Robinson’s sacrifice fly.
“The two-run single was a big two-out hit that swung the momentum our way,” Wilson said. “The game went back and forth and we had some opportunities to put some runs on the board, but Lancaster hit a clutch threerun homer. Baseball is a crazy game and it just happened to swing their way tonight.”
Lancaster went on top 3-2 in the sixth on a Halton solo homer. The Blue Crabs tied the game in the eighth on a Gary Brown RBI single before Halton’s second homer in the bottom half put the Barnstormers on top to stay.
Sanchez went 4 for 5 at the plate with one run scored and Brown was 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Tuesday night, Southern Maryland opened up a 4-0 lead in the third and prevailed 8-3, finishing with 14 hits.
Blue Crabs third baseman Bryant Nelson led the offensive charge with a 4 for 5 night at the plate, including a two-run home run in the third with three runs scored and a double. Catcher Gustavo Molina finished with two hits, two RBIs and a run scored and a double. Sanchez also added two hits with a RBI. Jamar Walton had a solo homer in the third.
“It was a big night for me and the team,” said Nelson after Tuesday’s win. “It was great to do it in a much-needed win. Hope it will carry over the rest of the road trip.”
Blue Crabs starter Gaby Hernandez picked up his second straight win as he allowed just two runs on four hits and struck out three batters in just five innings. He also walked five batters.
Bryan Evans suffered the loss for Lancaster, going 4 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
Tuesday, the Blue Crabs sent out a news release inviting Tim Tebow to join the active roster. The release said media outlets, including ESPN and USA Today, have confirmed the Heisman Trophy winner is actively pursing a career in professional baseball.
“He would be a great addition to the team, and we look forward to hearing from his agent in the near future,” said Blue Crabs general manager Courtney Knichel in the release. The team, according to the release, has not heard from Tebow’s agent regarding the proposition to play here in Waldorf as of yet.