Blue Crabs split open­ing se­ries of 2017 sea­son

La Plata grad­u­ate Thomp­son wins 2017 de­but

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

The 2017 de­but for South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs pitcher Daryl Thomp­son had to wait an ex­tra day as Mother Na­ture got in the way Satur­day night.

The ex­tra day didn’t seem to bother the 2003 La Plata High School grad­u­ate, de­liv­er­ing a su­perb per­for­mance en route to a 6-1 win for the Blue Crabs over the Long Is­land Ducks in Game 1 of a dou­ble­header Sun­day at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf to make up Satur­day’s post­pone­ment.

Thomp­son al­lowed just one run on four hits in six in­nings with two walks and seven strike­outs. The Ducks’ lone run was a solo home run in the fourth from Nate Frie­man, his sec­ond of the se­ries.

“I felt like I had good con­trol of my stuff to­day,” Thomp­son said. “I was able to stay ahead of the guys and com­mand the zone. This al­lowed me to stick to my game plan and get the win.”

Long Is­land ral­lied late in Game 2 to win 3-2 as South­ern Mary­land as split the open­ing se­ries of its 10th an­niver­sar y sea­son.

The Blue Crabs (2-2 over­all) dropped the sea­son opener on Thurs­day 7-1 and re­sponded with a 6-5 win on Fri­day night. Af­ter an off day Mon­day, they were sched­uled to start a three-game home se­ries ver­sus York on Tues­day night. Game 2 of that se­ries is set for 6:35 p.m. and the fi­nal game is at 6:35 p.m. Thurs­day be­fore the team has its first road trip of the sea­son this week­end in Bridge­port.

“The se­ries started out rocky for us, but I’m happy with the split against a tough team like Long Is­land,” Blue Crabs man­ager John Har­ris said. “Our start­ing pitch­ing was great and Daryl was phe­nom­e­nal in the first game to­day. Our of­fense just has to con­tinue to get in a groove and will get bet­ter as the sea­son go along.”

In Game 1 Sun­day, South­ern Mary­land scored four runs in the bot­tom of the sec­ond high­lighted by a tworun sin­gle by former Ducks catcher Mike Blanke and an RBI sac­ri­fice fly by Gary Brown.

Brown home­red in the fourth and the Blue Crabs scored an­other on a wild pitch in the fifth to cap off the scor­ing.

In Game 2, South­ern Mary­land led 2-0 in the first, but Long Is­land would come back to tie it at 2 with runs in the sec­ond and sixth. In the sev­enth ver­sus Blue Crabs re­liever Cody Ep­p­ley, Do­minic Blanco drew a two-out walk and was re­placed on the base paths by Fehlandt Len­tini. Len­tini stole sec­ond and Delta Cleary Jr.

fol­lowed with a two-out RBI sin­gle to give the Ducks the 3-2 lead.

In the bot­tom half of the sev­enth, Pa­trick Palmeiro sin­gled to left field with one out, but Long Is­land re­liever Amalio Diaz got Ed­win Gar­cia to pop out and pinch-hit­ter Blanke to strike out to end the game.

Ducks re­liever David Aardsma picked up the win with a score­less sixth with two strike­outs. Diaz got the save with a score­less sev­enth, strik­ing out two bat­ters. Ep­p­ley suf­fered the loss for the Blue Crabs, al­low­ing the run in the sev­enth on a hit and walk.

Blue Crabs starter Brian Gren­ing pitched a no-de­ci­sion as he went six in­nings, giv­ing up two runs on seven hits and a walk with one strike­out.

Fri­day, Palmeiro, the son of former ma­jor league slug­ger Rafael Palmeiro, tied the game at 5 in the bot­tom of the sixth with a two-run homer over the left-field wall. Blanke hit a solo shot in the eighth to put the Blue Crabs ahead for the first time in the game.

“Up to that point I hadn’t had a hit in the se­ries so it was was ex­cit­ing to get a win ver­sus my former team,” said Blanke on Fri­day’s big win. “I wish we could’ve won the se­ries, but we are com­ing to­gether. It is a long sea­son.”

Long Is­land scored three runs in the top of the first spurred by a two-run homer from Freiman. Fol­low­ing a 1 hour 7-minute rain de­lay, Alex Burg hit a solo homer to push the lead to 4-0 in the sec­ond.

The Blue Crabs scored three runs in the fourth on an RBI sin­gle by Danny Muno and a two-run sin­gle by Zach Wilson to cut the Ducks’ lead to one.

Nei­ther start­ing pitcher fac­tored into the de­ci­sion as Pat Misch pitched just one in­ning be­fore the rain de­lay, giv­ing up three runs on three hits. Ducks starter Rafael Perez lasted three in­nings, al­low­ing three runs on six hits with four strike­outs.

Re­liever Robert Car­son picked up the win af­ter pitch­ing a score­less eighth. Cody Ep­p­ley picked up his first save of 2017 af­ter pitch­ing a score­less ninth with one strike­out.

In Thurs­day’s sea­son-open­ing con­test, the Blue Crabs bats strug­gled as Long Is­land starter John Brownell picked up the win, go­ing five in­nings, al­low­ing just one run on five hits with a walk and five strike­outs.

Four Ducks re­liev­ers com­bined to al­low just three hits with three strike­outs in four score­less in­nings.

Blue Crabs starter Justin De Fra­tus pitched six in­nings, giv­ing up two un­earned runs on nine hits with five strike­outs. He did not walk any bat­ters. The bullpen al­lowed five runs on four hits with three walks.

Long Is­land, which had 13 hits in the game and left 13 run­ners on base, scored one run each in the top of the first, fourth and sev­enth and added four to break the game open in the eighth.

The vis­i­tors led 3-1 af­ter seven in­nings when play was stopped for a 46-minute rain de­lay.

Fol­low­ing the de­lay, it was a down­ward spi­ral for the Blue Crabs in the eighth, as they gave up four runs on two hits, had a balk, a wild pitch, a bat­ter reached on catcher’s in­ter­fer­ence and an­other was hit by a pitch. They also com­mit­ted two of their four er­rors dur­ing that span. The half-in­ning lasted 23 min­utes.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thomp­son went six in­nings and al­lowed just one run on four hits with two walks and seven strike­outs in a 6-1 win over Long Is­land in Game 1 of Sun­day’s dou­ble­header.

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