Blue Crabs win 3 of 4 in New Bri­tain

Drop se­ries fi­nale to Bees on walk-off hit in 10th

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

Com­ing into Sun­day’s se­ries fi­nale in New Bri­tain, the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs were a red hot base­ball team.

They were rid­ing a sixgame win streak and had outscored their op­po­nents 29-5 with three wins by shutout dur­ing the week, al­low­ing just one run in the last 37 in­nings.

That all came to be abrupt halt and it was a for­mer Blue Crab do­ing the hon­ors as Jo­van Rosa’s bases-loaded RBI sin­gle in the bot­tom of the 10th in­ning gave the Bees a 3-2 win.

Rosa split time be­tween Bridge­port and South­ern Mary­land last sea­son.

“Walks and er­rors killed us today. it would have been nice to get the sweep,” Blue Crabs man­ager John Har­ris said. “Win­ning three of out four it al­ways good, es­pe­cially on the road.”

Against Blue Crabs reliever Trey Masek, who came out of the bullpen for the 10th, New Bri­tain’s Steve Car­rillo reached first on an er­ror and went to sec­ond as James Skel­ton walked. With Michael Crouse up to bat, both run­ners then took off for a double steal.

Still with no outs, Crouse was hit by a pitch to load the bases and David Russo was sum­moned to come in for Masek, which led to the huge game-win­ning hit by Rosa.

New Bri­tain pitcher Joe Biemel picked up the win out of the bullpen, pitch­ing two score­less in­nings with one strike­out. Masek suf­fered the loss for South­ern Mary­land.

The win­ning streak reached six in a row af­ter the Blue Crabs de­feated New Bri­tain on Friday 3-1 to be­gin the se­ries then swept Saturday’s daynight dou­ble­header, 2-0 and 6-0.

South­ern Mary­land (1918 over­all), which have won seven out of its last 10 games, jumped into

sec­ond place in the Atlantic League’s Free­dom Di­vi­sion, two games be­hind Lan­caster (21-16). The Blue Crabs trav­eled to York for a three-game se­ries in York, which kicked off Tues­day and con­tin­ues with an 11 a.m. start today fol­lowed by Thurs­day’s fi­nale. The Blue Crabs are back home Friday when they be­gin a three-game se­ries ver­sus New Bri­tain.

Sun­day, Jose Lozada hit a led off the game for South­ern Mary­land with a double to right field, ad­vanced to third on an Ed­win Gar­cia sin­gle and scored on Michael Sny­der’s sac­ri­fice fly to cen­ter.

The score was pushed to 2-0 when Gar­cia scored on a Zach Wilson double to right. That was all the scor­ing for the Blue Crabs on the day as New Bri­tain pitch­ing al­lowed just three hits in the fi­nal nine-plus in­nings.

Blue Crabs starter Pat McCoy al­lowed one run on six hits in six in­nings in a no-de­ci­sion.

In Game 1 of Saturday’s dou­ble­header, Blue Crabs starter Brian Gren­ing pitched a com­plete-game

shutout, al­low­ing just four hits with 10 strike­outs and no walks.

Back-to-back RBI dou­bles from Devon Ro­driguez and Zach Cone in the sec­ond in­ning ac­counted for the only runs of the seven-in­ning game.

South­ern Mary­land swept the dou­ble­header af­ter a win in the night­cap, again scor­ing three runs in

the top of the sec­ond with Lozada’s run-scor­ing double cap­ping the in­ning.

Blue Crabs starter Gaby Her­nan­dez and Cody Heb­ner com­bined on the shutout.

Her­nan­dez went eight in­nings, al­low­ing six hits with eight strike­outs and did not walk any bat­ters. Heb­ner struck out all three hit­ters he faced in the ninth.

In Friday’s se­ries opener, all of the Blue Crabs runs came on bases-loaded twoout sin­gles from Ro­driguez and Cone in the top of the first.

Drew Hayes got his first win ever as a Blue Crab, going 6 1/3 in­nings, al­low­ing just one run on six hits with seven strike­outs and one walk.

“Our start­ing pitch­ing was lights out this se­ries,” Har­ris said. “Of­fen­sively, some­one new is com­ing up big in the bat­ting lineup. Devon and Zach re­ally had some big hits for us in the se­ries.”

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