Blue Crabs lose two of three to New Bri­tain

Lose se­ries with two ex­tra-in­ning de­feats

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Two start­ing pitch­ers each throw­ing nine in­nings doesn’t hap­pen of­ten in base­ball. But it was the case Sun­day at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf.

Daryl Thomp­son of the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs, a 2003 La Plata High School grad­u­ate, and New Bri­tain’s Kyle Si­mon threw those nine full in­nings, but ended up hav­ing to turn things over to their re­spec­tive bullpens for ex­tra in­nings as their pitch­ing had lim­ited both of­fenses to just two runs apiece.

Af­ter a score­less 10th, New Bri­tain broke the dead­lock with three runs in the 11th to se­cure a 5-2 win and take the three­game se­ries. It was the fifth con­sec­u­tive ex­tra-in­ning win for the Bees.

Af­ter drop­ping Fri­day’s se­ries opener 7-3 in 10 in­nings, the Blue Crabs re­sponded Satur­day with a 7-2 vic­tory.

South­ern Mary­land (22-21 over­all; sec­ond place in At­lantic League’s Free­dom Di­vi­sion, 2 1/2 games be­hind Lan­caster through Mon­day) was off Mon­day and kicked off the first of an­other three-game home­s­tand ver­sus York on Tues­day. Game 2 is sched­uled for 6:35 tonight. The se­ries fin­ishes at 6:35 p.m. Thurs­day, then the team heads to Texas for a six-game road trip ver­sus Su­gar Land.

Jesse Beal pitched a per­fect 10th in re­lief of Thomp­son on Sun­day, then Britt Robertshaw took over in the 11th and got into trou­ble.

Robertshaw hit Jake McGuig­gan with a pitch to load the bases with one out. Conor Bier­feldt then hit a two-run sin­gle to left field to make it 4-2.

With two outs, Robertshaw walked Jon Grif­fin to load the bases. Then, a 3-ball, 2-strike pitch to Craig Mad­dox missed out­side to walk in McGuig­gan and it was 5-2, spelling the end of Robertshaw’s out­ing.

Robertshaw, who got credit for the loss to fall to 0-2 on the sea­son, was re­placed David Russo, who struck out the next bat­ter, Yusuke Ka­ji­moto, to end the in­ning. The dam­age had been done, how­ever, as New Bri­tain closer Joe Beimel worked a score­less bot­tom of the 11th for his sixth save.

“The start­ing pitch­ing was great. We just have to score runs, plain and sim­ple,” Blue Crabs man­ager John Har­ris said. “We have to con­tinue to play solid base­ball and make plays.”

Luis Alen got on base on a lead­off walk to start the bot­tom of the eighth for the Blue Crabs. Alen ad­vanced to sec­ond on a wild pitch, but an at­tempted sac­ri­fice bunt from Jose Lozada did not bode well, forc­ing Alen out at third.

Lozada then stole sec­ond with Edwin Gar­cia bat­ting, turned to third when the pitch got away from New Bri­tain catcher James Skel­ton.

Skel­ton chased the ball down

to­wards the vis­it­ing on-deck cir­cle, and fired it to third just in time to get Lozada for the sec­ond out in the in­ning. Gar­cia then flew out to end the in­ning.

“We were just mak­ing ag­gres­sive plays. We just have to lay bunts down a lit­tle bet­ter, but it is base­ball,” Har­ris said.

Thomp­son walked Skel­ton to start the game. Two bat­ters later with one out, Jo­van Rosa dou­bled to left, putting Skel­ton at third. Bier­feldt drove in Skel­ton on a sac­ri­fice fly to right for the first run of the game.

The Blue Crabs got on the board in the bot­tom of the sec­ond as Devon Ro­driguez tied the game on a two-out solo homer. Af­ter Zach Cone’s dou­ble, Pa­trick Palmeiro hit a sin­gle off the left-field wall, scor­ing Cone to make it 2-1.

The Bees tied the game at 2 with a solo home run by Michael Crouse in the third. Thomp­son then re­tired 20 of the fi­nal 21 bat­ters he faced fol­low­ing the Crouse homer, in­clud­ing the last 12 in a row.

Thomp­son, who pitched a no-de­ci­sion af­ter his nine in­nings of work, struck out 10 bat­ters in the game and al­lowed just two runs on four hits with one walk. Si­mon also went nine in­nings and gave up two runs on six hits with two strike­outs.

“It was crazy for me to go nine in­nings and I wanted to just help my team stay in the game by any means nec­es­sary,” said Thomp­son, who threw 118 pitches, 85 for strikes. “The other starter did a hell of a job. It was a pitch­ers’ duel and we fell a lit­tle short, but we played hard to the end.”

Satur­day, the Blue Crabs took a 3-0 lead in the bot­tom of the first on a three-run homer by Zach Wil­son, his eighth of the sea­son, to put them ahead to stay. They scored two runs in the fifth on a sac­ri­fice fly by Palmeiro and a solo blast by Alen. In the eighth, Ro­driguez de­liv­ered some in­surance with a two-out, two-run dou­ble.

Blue Crabs start­ing pitcher Pat McCoy got his sec­ond win of the sea­son, al­low­ing just one run on two hits in 5 1/3 in­nings with seven strike­outs with two walks.

In Fri­day’s se­ries opener, New Bri­tain scored four runs in the 10th to come away with the win.

Palmeiro’s two-run homer in the bot­tom of the sev­enth put the Blue Crabs ahead 3-2, but Crouse’s lead­off homer in the eighth tied the game.

Cody Heb­ner got the loss for the Blue Crabs as he gave up four runs, three earned, on two hits with one walk and one strike­out in get­ting just two outs in the 10th.

Grif­fin led New Bri­tain with three hits with two RBIs and three runs scored. Michael Sny­der led the way for the Blue Crabs with three hits.

Nei­ther starter fac­tored into the de­ci­sion as Blue Crabs pitcher Gaby Her­nan­dez went

6 2/3 in­nings, al­low­ing two runs on five hits with seven strike­outs and two walks.

On Thurs­day ver­sus York, the Blue Crabs trailed 2-0 but got on the board in the sev­enth on Ro­driguez’s lead­off homer and then scored four runs in the eighth, capped by Cone’s tworun dou­ble, to take the 5-2 lead.

Blue Crabs closer Cody Ep­p­ley gave up a run in the bot­tom of the ninth, but picked up his 12th save of the sea­son as South­ern Mary­land won 5-3 and took the se­ries.

Heb­ner picked up the win on the mound, pitch­ing two-thirds of the sixth with one walk.

Lozada and Ro­driguez led the Blue Crabs with three hits each.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

Blue Crabs start­ing pitcher Daryl Thomp­son threw nine in­nings in a no-de­ci­sion in Sun­day’s se­ries fi­nale ver­sus New Bri­tain at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf. Thomp­son struck out 10 bat­ters, giv­ing up two runs on four hits with one walk, but the Blue Crabs fell 5-2 in 11 in­nings.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

Blue Crabs short­stop Edwin Gar­cia looks on to­wards the plate in Sun­day’s se­ries fi­nale ver­sus New Bri­tain at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf. Gar­cia had one hit in the 5-2 loss to the Bees in 11 in­nings.

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