Blue Crabs split se­ries with Som­er­set

Rain forced teams to play back-to-back dou­ble­head­ers

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­

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.

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