Stopped by the rain
Blue Crabs’ momentum halted by weather after .500 road trip
The month of August thus far hasn’t been particularly kind to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, as the club has won just one series out of four during that span.
The Blue Crabs capped off their six-game road trip Sunday in Somerset with a 6-5 victory in 12 innings to avoid a three-game sweep. The team then took that momentum into the first of a four-game series at home versus Bridgeport on Monday night at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
Leading Bridgeport 2-1, however, Monday night’s game was halted in the top of the fourth due to heavy rains and thunderstorms.
The series opener was set to start over on Tuesday as part of a doubleheader, which finished too late for inclusion in this edition. Game three of the series is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.
As of Monday, Southern Maryland (41-65, 15-21), which had 34 games left in the the season, remained in last place in the Freedom Division and was 6 1/2 games behind of firstplace Sugar Land in the second half standings.
Somerset had scored first with a run in the top of the first on Monday, but Eric Garcia put Southern Maryland on top 2-1 on a two-run single in the bottom of the third.
“I’m just trying to help the team anyway I can,” said Garcia. “I thank God for giving me the opportunity to play baseball. It has been frustrating for us, but we are just going to grind the season out.”
Bridgeport (49-57, 19-17) stands in second place in the Liberty Division.
On Sunday at TD Bank Ballpark in New Jersey, the Blue Crabs, who finished their road trip with a 3-3 record, outhit Somerset 13-11 and tied the game at 5 in the top of the seventh on a RBI single by Bryant Nelson, who is the league’s alltime leader in hits (1,070).
“We played .500 ball on the road trip and are in a must-win situation every night,” said Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens. “Yesterday’s win was huge and gave us momentum coming back home versus a hot team in Bridgeport. Unfortunately we took a hit [Monday] with the rain, but we will get right back to it with the doubleheader.”
In Sunday’s game, both bullpens held each other scoreless up until the top of the 12th as Zach Wilson hit a clutch double to left field, allowing Nelson to score the game-winning run. The double for Wilson was his 29th of the season, which leads the Atlantic League as of Monday. He also collected his 50th RBI for the season in Sunday’s win.
With runners on first and third and one out out, Blue Crabs closer Cody Eppley got Kyle Roller to hit into the game-ending double play to record the save for Southern Maryland. Roller also hit into a double play to end the 10th frame.
Nelson went 3 for 5 with one RBI, a walk and two runs scored, while Wilson finished 2 for 6 with two doubles, two RBIs and was one of the four Blue Crabs with two hits in the game.
The bulk of the scoring for Southern Maryland came in the sixth inning, spurred by a tworun home run by Jamar Walton.
Leading Somerset was David Vidal, who went 3 for 4 in the game with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Bryan LaHair was one of three players for Somerset that registered two hits, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to give Somerset the 5-4 lead.
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision as the Blue Crabs’ Gaby Hernandez went six innings and allowed four earned runs with four strikeouts. Former Blue Crab Shaun Garceau got the start for Somerset going six innings, allowing four runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
Ian Marshall got the win for the Blue Crabs after pitching two innings out of the bullpen. Jeremy Bleich was saddled with the loss for Somerset.
In the second game of the series on Saturday, the Blue Crabs suffered a 7-5 loss as Somerset scored in five of the first six innings.
Blue Crabs starter Brian Burres lost his third straight decision, allowing six runs, four earned, on nine hits with six strikeouts in five innings.
Donovan Hand got the win for Somerset, pitching the first five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with one strikeout.Jon Hunton picked up the save for the Patriots, pitching a scoreless ninth, allowing just one hit.
Wilson (two RBIs) and Walton each had two hits to lead the Blue Crabs. LaHair had three hits with two RBIs to lead Somerset.
On Friday in the series opener Somerset won 10-2 and outhit the Blue Crabs 14-5, including three home runs.
Alfredo Marte’s two-run homer in the top of the second served as the only runs of the night for the Blue Crabs. Blue Crabs starter Tim Sexton suffered the loss on the hill, allowing eight runs on 12 hits in 4 2/3.innings of work.
On Thursday, the Blue Crabs capped off their only series win of the month, defeating Lancaster 4-3 in the finale of a three-game set.
Southern Maryland led 4-0 after four innings, but was able to hold on for the win.
Starter Brian Grening and three relievers combined to retire the last 12 Lancaster hitters to end the game. Eppley got the save in the game. Garcia went 3 for 5 with two RBIs to lead Southern Maryland.
PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN Blue Crabs starting pitcher Daryl Thompson winds up to a throw a pitch in the first of a four-game series versus Bridgeport on Monday at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. The game was halted in the top of the fourth due to the inclement weather.