Blue Crabs split high-scoring contests vs. York
Still have 2-game lead in Freedom Division
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have been on top of its game as of late.
Entering the third of a four-game series at York on Wednesday night, Southern Maryland was riding a threegame win streak and had a three-game lead on Lancaster for the top spot in the Atlantic League’s Freedom Division.
After Tuesday’s dramatic 12-9 victory, spurred by Brian Bistagne’s grand slam in the top of the seventh inning, the Blue Crabs saw their streak end on Wednesday night, falling to the Revolution 15-9 at PeoplesBank Park in York, Pa.
Southern Maryland (33-25 overall) — with its division lead at two games following Wednesday’s loss and Lancaster’s 6-4 over Bridgeport — looked to bounce back in Thursday’s series finale before kicking off the a three-game weekend homestand at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf at 6:35 tonight. The series continues at 6:35 p.m. Saturday and 2:05 p.m. Sunday before the Blue Crabs head back out on the road to take on Somerset and Long Island next week.
“We are starting to get big hits at the right time,” said Blue Crabs manager John Harris on Wednesday morning, referring to Tuesday’s win. “Our pitching and defense has gotten better. Hopefully we can make a push and finish the first half off strong.”
Wednesday night, the Blue Crabs scored six runs in the top of the second to enjoy a 6-1 lead. The highlight of the inning was a grand slam from Edwin Garcia, his first home run of the season.
That lead didn’t last long as York (22-37) responded with four runs in the bottom of the second, six more in the third and three in the fourth.
A bases-loaded, two-RBI double from Dayron Varona, playing in his first game in a York uniform, in the third gave the Revolution a 7-6 lead and the hosts never trailed again. It also chased Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson from the game as the 2003 La Plata High School graduate would end up allowing nine runs on nine hits in two-plus innings with no walks, two hit-batters and three strikeouts. Thompson’s record fell to 5-4.
The Blue Crabs got to within 14-9 in the sixth when Zach Wilson hit a solo homer, his 10th homer of the season. York added a run in the eighth to cap the scoring.
The Revolution, who had 19 hits in the game, had five batters in the lineup with three hits each.
Southern Maryland, which finished with 12 hits, had three batters with two hits each — Wilson, Michael Snyder and Devon Rodriguez.
Tuesday night, Blue Crabs closer Cody Eppley allowed an infield single from Carlos Triunfel and a walk with two outs in the bottom of the ninth
to bring the tying run to the platem but got Travis Witherspoon to fly out to end the game for his 18th save of the season, which ranked second in the Atlantic League through Wednesday.
Blue Crabs pitcher Cody Hebner picked up the win in relief as he threw in the sixth and struck out two batters, allowing just one run on one hit with two walks.
Snyder, Jose Lozada and Rodriguez each finished with
three hits as the Blue Crabs outhit York 14-13.
The Blue Crabs exploded out to an 8-2 lead in the top of the fourth behind two home runs and six RBIs from Snyder and three singles from Lozada during that span.
However, York did not go away, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth on a dropped pop fly that was ruled a double to tie the game at 8.
In the seventh, York pitcher Luke Westphal loaded the bases with no outs and Hawtin Buchanan came in to relieve
him. Bistagne then took Buchanan’s first pitch over the wall for his first-ever home run as a Blue Crab.
Bistagne, who signed with the team on June 8, was inserted into the starting lineup later in the day.
“When I saw the pitching change and they brought a righty in I was just looking for the first pitch to be in the zone,” said Bistagne, whose in his ninth season as a pro. “The pitch came right down the middle and I sent it over the wall. We are playing good ball right now, this team is like a family.” Sugar Land York Somerset Long Island New Britain