Blue Crabs sweep twinbill over York
Vaughn’s pivotal homer in Game 2 gives team 1 1/2-game lead in Freedom Division
Heading into the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader versus York, Cory Vaughn only had notched one hit in 13 at-bats.
His breakthrough at the plate couldn’t have come at a better time.
With the game tied at 3 in the bottom of the sixth and one out, the California native belted a solo home run off of reliever Curtis Partch to give the Blue Crabs to a 4-3 victory over the Revolution at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf to sweep the doubleheader.
Vaughn finished with a 2 for 3 outing at the plate with a run scored in Game 2 along with the homer, his first as a Blue Crab.
“It felt nice to get a big hit for the team to win it,” Vaughn said. “I missed all of spring training because I was hurt, so it is just about getting in a rhythm and being comfortable. I knew my swing was coming, I felt it towards the end of our opening series (versus Long Island). I felt really good coming in to tonight’s games and I put a great swing on that ball to put my team ahead and allow us to clinch this series early.”
Blue Crabs reliever Sam Runion got his first save of the season, pitching the top of the seventh with two strikeouts and a walk. Atlantic League doubleheaders are two seven-inning regulation contests.
The Blue Crabs earned a 2-0 shutout in the first game of the twinbill. The series opener was scheduled to be played on Tuesday, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Southern Maryland (4-2 overall) held a 1 1/2-game lead over Sugar Land in the Freedom Division entering the series finale on Thursday.
The Blue Crabs start a threegame road series against the Bridgeport Bluefish at 4:05 p.m. today. The team returns to Waldorf to begin a threegame series versus Sugar Land on Monday.
“Cory had been struggling, but he is a very good player and I have 100 percent faith in him that he can bounce back,” Blue Crabs manager John Harris said. “I was happy for him tonight.”
Blue Crabs starting pitcher Justin De Fratus got his first win of the season as he worked six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
“Anytime you win both games in a doubleheader it is great. It was good to see us stay focused for 14 innings,” De Fratus said. “I knew it was going to be a grind for me. Things didn’t feel right in pregame for me, but those nights happen and I will take it. My defense made the plays behind me.”
Gary Brown led off the bottom of the first with single to left field and, two batters later, Zach Wilson walked. Brown then scored on Michael Snyder’s sacrifice fly for the first run of the game.
York tied the game up at 1 in the top of the fourth when
Alonzo Harris scored on a RBI groundout by Joel Guzman. Harris then drove in Bryan Pounds on a two-out RBI single to push the lead to 2-1.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Southern Maryland tied the game at 2 when Edwin Garcia doubled to deep center, scoring Patrick Palmiero. After a bunt single by Ryan Wiggins, Garcia scored on a Brown fielder’s choice to put the Blue Crabs ahead 3-2.
With runners on the corners and one out in the top of the sixth, Luis Alen hit a ball to Palmiero at third, who got the force out at second, but it allowed Angel Franco to score, knotting the game at 3. Then Vaughn put the Blue Crabs ahead for good with his blast in the bottom of the inning.
The Blue Crabs started Game 1 with a run without needing a hit. A hit-batter and two walks loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first, which was followed with Snyder grounding into a 5-4-3 double play but Brown came in for the first run of the game.
Snyder hit a one-out RBI double to center in the sixth drove in Wilson to give the home team some insurance with a 2-0 lead.
York starter Victor Mateo Mateo had a no-hitter until Garcia singled to right with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Mateo got the loss, throwing five innings, allowing just one earned run on one hit with four strikeouts and three walks.
Blue Crabs starting pitcher Gaby Hernandez went six innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits with two strikeouts and did not walk any batters.
“Anytime you can pitch well you are going to compete in a ballgame,” Harris said. “We would obviously like to see the offense improve, but it’s early in the season. So for now we are relying on our pitching staff, which has been great so far and earned us a couple of wins already.”
Closer Cody Eppley struck out Ryan Dent to end the game to escape a bases-loaded jam and pick up his second save of the season. Eppley allowed two hits and a walk to load the bases in the inning, but struck out the side in achieving his second save of the season.
“It set the tone for the first game of the series and it was a good win. I was able to put some innings together and Eppley came through for us at the end,” said Hernandez, who currently holds the franchise record with 455 career strikeouts. “It was nice to win two in a row and gives up momentum going into the next game.”
Blue Crabs starting pitcher Gaby Hernandez gave up no runs on three hits with two strikeouts and no walks in six innings of work in a 2-0 win over the York Revolution in Wednesday’s first game of a doubleheader.
Blue Crabs starter Justin De Fratus went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts in a 4-3 victory over the York Revolution in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. It was the first win of the season for De Fratus, who did not walk any batters.