Blue Crabs top New Britain for first sweep of season
Snyder explodes for seven hits in series versus New Britain
In what has been a rough patch for most of the summer, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs did something that they hadn’t done yet this season.
Sunday, the Blue Crabs wrapped up their first series sweep of the season with a 6-3 victory in the three-game series finale over the New Britain Bees at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. The game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning because of rain.
Southern Maryland won Friday’s series opener 9-6 and followed up with a 5-3 win on Saturday. The Blue Crabs collected a total of 36 hits in the three games, with 27 coming in the first two.
After a Atlantic League-wide off day on Monday, Southern Maryland (45-68 overall, 19-24 second half) started the first of a three-game series on the road in Long Island (60-52, 20-22), the first-half champions of the Liberty Division, on Tuesday. The series continues tonight and Thursday before the Blue Crabs return home to start a seven-game homestand Friday versus Sugar Land. The Blue Crabs sat in third place in the Freedom Division second-half standings entering Tuesday, 8 1/2 games behind Sugar Land.
“It feels great to get the first sweep of the season and it came at the right time,” Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens said. “We dug a huge hole throughout the second half, but now is the time. These next [nine games] to end the month of August is going to be huge before we hit September. Hopefully we can make a push.”
Michael Snyder sparked the Blue Crabs offense all series long, as he went a combined 7 for 11 at the plate to go along with two home runs and seven RBIs. Entering Tuesday, Snyder was third in the Atlantic League in home runs with 18.
“The sweep felt really good, it is extremely surprising,” said Snyder, who did not register a hit in 11 plate appearances during a four-game home series with Bridgeport last week. “I just wanted to stick with my plan at the plate and not shy away from pitches. I just want to help the team more than anything.”
In Sunday’s finale, New Britain (5460, 18-26) took a 3-0 lead in the top of
the second, all of the runs being unearned, but the Blue Crabs answered in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back homers, a three-run homer by Jamar Walton and a solo shot from Alfredo Marte. They tacked on two more in the fourth on RBI singles by Bryant Nelson and Snyder.
Blue Crabs starter Brian Grening picked up the win, tossing seven innings, allowing just four hits and no earned runs with five strikeouts.
Saturday, Southern Maryland was able to hold on for the two-run win sparked by Snyder’s tworun homer in the bottom of the eighth that gave it a 5-1 lead and proved to be the game-winning hit after the Bees scored twice in the ninth.
Blue Crabs closer Cody Eppley picked up the save, his 23rd of the season and second in two nights, after striking out New Britain’s Cole Garner with runners at second and third and two outs to end the game.
Snyder finished with three hits, while Gustavo Molina and Angel Sanchez had two hits each in the win.
Scott Snodgress got the win out of the bullpen for Southern Maryland, going 2 2/3 innings with five strikeouts, giving up no runs on just one hit.
Friday, the Blue Crabs won a wild one at Regency as both teams combined for 15 runs on 30 hits and each inning featured at least one run being scored except the ninth.
Sanchez finished 4 for 4 with a walk and two RBIs in the win, while D’Arby Myers and Nelson each had three hits.
Blue Crabs starter Gaby Hernandez was strong on the hill, striking out nine batters over 5 1/3 innings to pick up his third win in his last four starts.
Southern Maryland lost three out four versus Bridgeport at home, suffering a 3-2 loss in Thursday’s series finale.
Nelson, pinch hitting for Marte, struck out with the tying run on third base and two outs to end the game.
Blue Crabs starter Brian Burres dropped his fourth straight decision, allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts in eight innings.
The Blue Crabs did not get their first hit until the one out in the fourth.
Zach Wilson’s RBI double in the seventh and a two-out RBI double by Walton in the ninth was the Blue Crabs’ only runs.
Also Thursday, before New Britain came to Southern Maryland for the weekend series, manager Stan Cliburn, a former Blue Crabs frontman, picked up his 1,600th career win as the Bees shut out Long Island, 7-0.
Blue Crabs first baseman Michael Snyder finished a combined 7 for 11 at the plate to go with two home runs and seven RBIs in a three-game sweep over the New Britain Bees this weekend at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.