Blue Crabs split opening series of 2017 season
La Plata graduate Thompson wins 2017 debut
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.
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.