Blue Crabs win third straight se­ries

Blue Crabs win third straight se­ries; lose tough one to Som­er­set

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

Since de­liv­er­ing its first sweep of the sea­son over the vis­it­ing New Bri­tain Bees 10 days ago, the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs have been a force to be reck­oned with.

The Blue Crabs won two out of three in Long Is­land and on Sun­day af­ter­noon capped off an­other three-game se­ries with a 4-3 win over the Su­gar Land Skeeters, win­ning two out of three for their third-straight se­ries win.

The win was the sev­enth in the last nine games for the Blue Crabs.

Mon­day night, the Blue Crabs came close to mak­ing it 8 of 10, but lost 8-7 to Som­er­set in the first of a four-game set at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf.

Lead­ing 7-6 in the top of the ninth, the Blue Crabs were un­able to hold on as Som­er­set’s Kyle Roller hit a two-run home run ver­sus Blue Crabs re­liever Craig Stem to give the Pa­tri­ots the come­back win. Roller fin­ished 4 for 5 at the plate with two runs scored.

In the bot­tom of the ninth with the ty­ing run on first af­ter a lead­off sin­gle from An­gel Sanchez, Michael Sny­der grounded into the 6-4-3 dou­ble play and Gus­tavo Molina flew out to end the game as Jon Hun­ton picked up his At­lantic League-lead­ing 33rd save en­ter­ing Tues­day.

Trail­ing 6-5, Ja­mar Walton and Eric Gar­cia hit RBI dou­bles in the bot­tom of the eighth to put South­ern Mary­land up by one. They also led 2-1 when Sny­der hit his 20th home run of the sea­son, sec­ond in the league en­ter­ing Tues­day, in the first and 4-3 af­ter two in­nings on RBI sin­gles from Gar­cia and Sanchez.

Gar­cia went 3 for 4 with a dou­ble, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Blue Crabs, while Gary Brown was 3 for 5 with a run scored. The teams com­bined for 25 hits in the game.

South­ern Mary­land used seven pitch­ers in the loss. Starter Brian Bur­res lasted just two in­nings, al­low­ing three runs on four hits. Bur­res’ ERA rose to 3.09, rank­ing him third in the league en­ter­ing Tues­day af­ter briefly hold­ing the top spot.

The four-game se­ries con­tin­ues at 7:05 tonight and to­mor­row, then the Blue Crabs (49-71 over­all, 23-27 sec­ond half- 7 1/2 games be­hind Su­gar Land in the Free­dom Di­vi­sion sec­ond-half stand­ings en­ter­ing Tues­day) head to Bridge­port to start a seven-game road trip Fri­day

that will con­tinue in York on Mon­day.

Pitch­ing was the story in Sun­day’s se­ries fi­nale with Su­gar Land. Blue Crabs closer Cody Ep­p­ley struck out Wil­fredo Ro­driguez with ty­ing run on first base in the top of the ninth to end the game for his 27th save of the sea­son, his sixth in the last nine days. The 27 saves were fourth in the At­lantic League en­ter­ing Tues­day.

Blue Crabs starter Tim Sex­ton picked up his first win since June 22, also a vic­tory over Su­gar Land, al­low­ing three runs on seven hits in six in­nings with two walks and three strike­outs. The bullpen of Scott Sn­odgress, Stem and Ep­p­ley halted a Skeeters rally, strik­ing out three and al­low­ing just one baserun­ner over the fi­nal three in­nings.

Blue Crabs re­liev­ers had al­lowed just one earned run in their last seven games en­ter­ing Mon­day.

South­ern Mary­land scored its runs on a lead off home by Molina in the bot­tom of the sec­ond, a Sny­der solo shot in the fourth and a Gar­cia two-run sin­gle in the fourth.

Satur­day, South­ern Mary­land de­feated Su­gar Land 4-1 as starter Brian Gren­ing tossed a seven-hit­ter over seven in­nings to raise his record to 9-4, giv­ing up just one run to go along with six strike­outs. The win for Gren­ing was his sixth in the last eight starts, with the other two starts be­ing no-de­ci­sions. His nine vic­to­ries on the sea­son was tied for sec­ond in the league en­ter­ing Tues­day.

An RBI dou­ble by D’Arby My­ers and an RBI sin­gle by Brown broke a 1-1 tie in the bot­tom of the sec­ond to put the Blue Crabs in front for good. Ep­p­ley al­lowed just a one-out ground rule dou­ble in the top of ninth to pick up the save.

Su­gar Land won 3-0 in Fri­day’s se­ries opener as four pitch­ers com­bined on a six-hit shutout. Sanchez was the only Blue Crabs hit­ter with more than one hit, go­ing 2 for 4 with two sin­gles.

Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thomp­son, the 2003 La Plata High School grad­u­ate, got the loss to drop his record to 4-7, al­low­ing three runs on five hits with three strike­outs in 7 1/3 in­nings.

Thurs­day, the Blue Crabs edged Long Is­land in the se­ries fi­nale as it de­liv­ered with a fiverun sec­ond in which 11 bat­ters came to the plate. Sny­der and Walton had RBI sin­gles in the top of the sev­enth to break a 5-5 tie.

Blue Crabs starter Gaby Her­nan­dez picked up his fourth win in his last five starts and the bullpen pitched three score­less in­nings.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

Blue Crabs catcher Gus­tavo Molina fin­ished 2 for 3 at the plate with two runs scored, in­clud­ing a solo homer in the bot­tom of the sec­ond in­ning in a 4-3 win Sun­day over the Su­gar Land Skeeters at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf. The Blue Crabs won two out of three in the se­ries.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

Blue Crabs starter Brian Gren­ing picked up his sixth win in his last eight starts in a 4-1 vic­tory over Su­gar Land on Satur­day at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf. Gren­ing al­lowed just one run on seven hits with six strike­outs in seven in­nings of work.

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