Blue Crabs split series with Somerset
Rain forced teams to play back-to-back doubleheaders
Mother Nature washed away the first two days of a four-game series between the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and Somerset Patriots at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. But the weather cleared by the weekend so the teams could get all four games done in two days with back-to-back seven-inning doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.
After splitting Saturday’s twinbill, the Blue Crabs took the first of Sunday’s doubleheader 7-3, but fell in the second game 13-5 to make it another split.
Southern Maryland (12-12 overall), as was the rest of the Atlantic League, had the day off Monday and kicked off a threegame series at Regency versus Lancaster on Tuesday. Game 2 of the series is set for 10:35 a.m. today as part of Baseball in Education Day.
The Blue Crabs sat in third place in the league’s Freedom Division, just two games back of first-place Sugar Land going into Tuesday’s action.
“A split is good, but I’m still not happy right now. We have some problems to fix,” Blue Crabs manager John Harris said. “We are professionals. Players just have to step up and play baseball. Our offense has been scoring runs, but if we don’t pitch and play defense, it will be tough to beat the top teams in the Atlantic League.”
Southern Maryland dropped the first game on Saturday, 8-2, and came back to win Game 2, 8-3.
The Blue Crabs led 3-0 after five innings in Game 1 on Sunday only to see Somerset come back in the top of the sixth to knot it at 3.
In the bottom of the sixth, Southern Maryland responded with two-run homers from Patrick Palmeiro and Gary Brown to help seal the victory.
Palmeiro finished with two hits and three RBIs, including a double and two runs scored in the game. Brown also had two hits and a run scored.
Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson, a 2003 La Plata High School graduate, picked up his second win of the season, evening his record at 2-2. In six innings, Thompson allowed three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. He had a four-hit shutout through the first five frames.
Cody Eppley relieved Thompson in the seventh, retiring the side and striking out one batter.
“It felt good to be back home, having thrown on the road my last start,” Thompson said. “The crowd was great and I just wanted to go out there and get a win for my team, and for all the mothers celebrating their Mother’s Day with the Blue Crabs.”
In Game 2, Somerset jumped out quickly, scoring five in the
top of the first. The Blue Crabs scored five of their own in the bottom of the second to tie the game on a Palmeiro two-run homer and a Michael Snyder bases-clearing double.
The Patriots, who finished with 13 hits and two homers in the game, took over the rest of the way as they scored six runs in the top of the fourth. The half-inning featured just two Somerset hits despite 12 batters coming to the plate as three Blue Crabs pitchers walked five and hit two batters.
Palmeiro finished with two hits and two RBIs to lead the way for Southern Maryland.
The Blue Crabs had four home runs in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader to help get the split.
Cory Vaughn and Zach Cone went back to back in the fourth, Vaughn hitting a two-run homer
to tie the game at 2 and Cone following with a solo shot to put the Blue Crabs on top for good.
The long ball was in full effect again in the fifth as Zach Wilson hit his second grand slam of the season, and the Blue Crabs went back to back again as Vaughn connected with a solo homer for his second blast of the night.
Pitcher Jesse Beal got his second win of the season as he threw a scoreless fifth with one strikeout.
In his first start with the Blue Crabs, Drew Hayes went the first four innings, allowed just two runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
Game 1 saw Somerset jump out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Jose Lozada homered in bottom of the first and Mike Blanke had an RBI single in the second to bring the Blue Crabs to within 3-2, but they would get no closer.
Jerome Williams got the win for the Patriots, giving up just two runs on six hits in five innings
with five strikeouts.
Blue Crabs pitcher Pat McCoy in his first-ever start with team allowed five runs, three earned, on five hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. He also walked three batters in the first inning, including one that brought home a run.
Somerset, which had a threegame lead on Bridgeport in the Liberty Division going into Tuesday’s action, stole eight bases in the contest.