measure, Cone provided some insurance by belting a two-run homer in the ninth.
One night earlier in a 3-2 victory over the Skeeters, Gaby Hernandez improved to 4-1 and continued the stellar start to his campaign by limiting Sugar Land to two runs on five hits and fanned eight while not issuing a walk. He threw 69 of 96 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.17, which is tops in the Atlantic League through Wednesday. His 55 strikeouts are fourth in the league through Wednesday. Closer Cody Eppley recorded his 15th save, second most in the league through Wednesday, to preserve Tuesday’s
“When you walk into the clubhouse every night, you can just tell this team has a lot of confidence,” said Hernandez, who is scheduled to make his next start on Monday when the Blue Crabs are back on the road to start a four-game series at York. “We expect to win. Everyone on the staff goes out there knowing what they have to do to succeed and we do our best to implement that game plan. A lot of that success is due to coach Harris and pitching coach Frisbee. They have us mentally and physically ready for every outing.”
Tuesday’s contest had plenty of drama in the late innings. In the top of the sixth, the Blue Crabs forged a 2-1 lead when Cone doubled and later scored on an RBI grounder by Brian Bistagne. Then in the top of the seventh, the Blue Crabs added an insurance run when Michael Snyder earned a leadoff walk and later scored on a double by Cone.
Sugar Land responded with a run in the bottom of the seventh against Hernandez and had multiple chances to score the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth and ninth. But reliever Zack Thornton escaped trouble in the eighth by retiring Travis Scott on a groundout and Eppley earned his latest save when he induced Bryan Pounds to ground into a game-ending double play.
“It was a great road trip and now we’re looking to get back home for a few days,” Harris said. “We’re playing really well right now. Everyone on the team has contributed. We’ve
been doing a lot of things well. Now, we’re hoping to keep this going for a while.”
“We’re all looking forward to getting back to Waldorf,” Hernandez said. “It will be brief, but we’re looking forward to
playing some games in front of our home fans. Right now, we’re playing with a lot of confidence. That’s important and it helps when you step out onto the field.”