Thomp­son, Blue Crabs shut out Lan­caster

La Plata High School grad­u­ate pitches team to third-straight win

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

When Daryl Thomp­son is in the zone, he is tough to beat.

Wed­nes­day night, the 2003 La Plata High School grad­u­ate put on a stel­lar per­for­mance in front of the home crowd at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf as he pitched tossed eight in­nings of shutout ball on six hits with six strike­outs and one walk in lead­ing the South­ern Maryland Blue Crabs to a 2-0 vic­tory over the Lan­caster Barn­storm­ers in the third of a four-game se­ries.

“I just wanted to go out there and give us the best chance to win, but I felt con­fi­dent in all my pitches so I would throw any­thing at any count and was com­fort­able and trusted all my pitches,” said Thomp­son, who threw 116 pitches, 86 for strikes. His record is now at 3-2 with a 3.48 ERA. “My catcher Luis Alen called a great game and my de­fense was solid. It was huge to take three games, hope­fully we can get the sweep.”

Closer Cody Ep­p­ley shut the door in the top of the ninth, re­tir­ing the side with one strike­out to pick up his 10th save of the year which has him sec­ond in the At­lantic League through Wed­nes­day’s ac­tion.

The Blue Crabs, who won 5-2 on Tues­day night, won their third straight game, all against Lan­caster, and went for a fourgame sweep in Thurs­day’s se­ries finale.

Af­ter be­ing swept by Lan­caster in a three-game se­ries last week at Re­gency, the Blue Crabs (16-17 over­all) have re­turned the fa­vor with three

straight wins of their own this week and sat in third place, just two games be­hind the Barn­storm­ers, in the At­lantic League’s Free­dom Di­vi­sion af­ter Wed­nes­day’s ac­tion.

South­ern Maryland kicks off the first of a four-game, three­day se­ries at the New Bri­tain on Fri­day sched­uled for 6:35 p.m. The Blue Crabs and Bees will play a day-night dou­ble­header on Satur­day and fin­ish the se­ries on Sun­day.

“Daryl is un­be­liev­able. He is a spe­cial player and tonight he got stronger as the game went on,” Blue Crabs man­ager John Har­ris said. “He pounds the zone, changes speeds and is just fun to watch. Win­ning three straight ver­sus a team like Lan­caster is huge for us.”

South­ern Maryland had four hits in the bot­tom of the first Wed­nes­day night off of Lan­caster starter Rom­mie Lewis as seven bat­ters came to the plate in the in­ning.

With one out, Ed­win Gar­cia (2 hits) ad­vanced on a sin­gle and Michael Sny­der dou­bled to right field, putting Gar­cia on third. Zach Wil­son’s sac­ri­fice fly to cen­ter drove in Gar­cia for the game’s first run.

Cory Vaughn fol­lowed things up with a dou­ble to cen­ter, scor­ing Sny­der. The Blue Crabs led 2-0 and the two runs was all that was needed to win the game.

Lewis suf­fered the loss for the Barn­storm­ers, al­low­ing both runs on nine hits with six strike­outs in six in­nings of work. He also walked three bat­ters.

Tues­day, South­ern Maryland scored four runs of its five in the first, spurred by a two-run sin­gle by Devon Ro­driguez and a two-run triple by Zach Cone. Lan­caster scored its first run of the game in the top of the third, but the Blue Crabs tacked on a run of their own on Alen’s RBI sin­gle, scor­ing Cone.

The Barn­storm­ers scored an­other run in the sixth, but the Blue Crabs bullpen held them score­less in the fi­nal three in­nings while al­low­ing just one hit to help se­cure the win.

Starter Pat McCoy picked up his first win as a Blue Crab, giv­ing up just two runs, one earned, on four hits with three strike­outs and three walks in six in­nings of work. Ep­p­ley got the save as he pitched a score­less ninth.

Lan­caster starter Bryan Evans suf­fered the loss, giv­ing up all five runs on six hits with four walks and two strike­outs.

Brown named Blue Crabs hit­ting coach

Wed­nes­day in a news re­lease the team an­nounced that Blue Crabs util­ity man Gary Brown was pro­moted to a player/ coach and will serve as the team’s hit­ting coach for the re­main­der of the season.

“We are hon­ored to have Gary join the coach­ing staff here in South­ern Maryland. He has been great in his time here both with what he pro­vides on the field as well as serv­ing as an am­bas­sador for the club in the club­house and in the com­mu­nity,” said Blue Crabs gen­eral man­ager Court­ney Knichel in the press re­lease.

Serv­ing as the Blue Crabs lead­off bat­ter and out­fielder this season, Brown en­tered Thurs­day’s finale with Lan­caster with a .298 bat­ting av­er­age, while lead­ing the team in hits (36) and stolen bases (12). He was 0 for 3 with a walk in Wed­nes­day’s win.

“I’m grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue my work with the Blue Crabs,” said Brown in the press re­lease. “I’m happy to fur­ther help my team win in ev­ery way pos­si­ble for the re­main­der of this season and be­yond.”

Brown also had a strong show­ing in 2016 as he bat­ted to­ward the top of the lineup all season, hit­ting .249, with 10 home runs, 40 RBIs and 21 stolen bases.

Be­fore ar­riv­ing in South­ern Maryland, Brown spent six sea­sons play­ing in af­fil­i­ated base­ball.

He was orig­i­nally a first-round draft pick by the San Fran­cisco Giants in the 2010 Ma­jor League Base­ball Draft out of Cal State Fullerton. He also spent five sea­sons with the Giants or­ga­ni­za­tion, reach­ing the ma­jors in 2014, play­ing in seven games for the Giants. For his ca­reer, Brown has is a .270 hit­ter, with 65 homers and 340 RBIs over eight pro­fes­sional sea­sons.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

Daryl Thomp­son, 2003 La Plata High School grad­u­ate, threw eight in­nings of shutout ball in the Blue Crabs’ 2-0 win over Lan­caster on Wed­nes­day night. Thomp­son al­lowed just six hits and struck out six.

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