Blue Crabs edge Bridgeport on Hoes’ walk-off single
Hoes’ walk-off single helps Blue Crabs take series over Bridgeport Bluefish
It doesn’t matter if it’s the first or the ninth inning, L.J. Hoes usually sticks to the same approach when he steps into the batter’s box: Patience.
With his Blue Crabs and Bridgeport tied at 4 in the bottom of the ninth inning in the rubber game of a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon, that approach paid off.
After fouling off three pitches during the at-bat, the Washington D.C. native out of St. John’s College High School delivered with a two-out single to right field, scoring Edwin Garcia to give the Blue Crabs a 5-4 walkoff win over the Bluefish at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
It was the fourth walk-off win of the season for the Blue Crabs, who won their first series since early July.
It was a big day for Hoes as he finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs. It capped off a series that saw the outfielder pick up seven hits and six RBIs.
“I just wanted to relax in the big moment and treat my approach like if it is the first or second inning,” said Hoes, who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2008 out of high school. “Bridgeport is a tough team to beat and it was a big series win for us. We had some injuries, but we are starting to get healthy.”
Jose Lozada grounded out to start the ninth, then Garcia and Cory Vaughn each singled to put the winning run on second base. Michael Snyder popped out for the second out before Hoes’ clutch hit against Bluefish reliever Elvin Ramirez.
Jesse Beal got the win out of the bullpen after pitching a scoreless ninth, retiring all three batters he faced to move to 6-3 on the season.
Southern Maryland (49-46 overall, 11-15 second half; sitting in fourth place, six games behind Lancaster in the Atlantic League’s Freedom Division second-half standings) was off Thursday and starts a six-game road trip tonight. The Blue Crabs will spend the weekend playing a three-game series at Somerset, just days after being swept in four games in New Jersey, then move on to play at Long Island for three games starting Monday.
Gaby Hernandez will get the start on the mound in tonight’s game for the Blue Crabs. Hernandez sports an 8-1 record with a 2.62 ERA where he is second in the Atlantic League in both wins and ERA.
Wednesday’s game, which featured a scheduled 11:05 a.m. first pitch for Camp and Recreation Day, saw Bridgeport turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth only to see Southern Maryland tie the game in the bottom half and win it in the ninth.
“This league is tough and the way Bridgeport has been playing in this second half, I think they are the best team in the league,” said Blue Crabs pitching coach James Frisbee, who took over the managerial duties as manager John Harris was out for personal reasons on Wednesday. “So it is nice to get a couple of wins. We had big hits in the lineup today.”
Bridgeport (55-41, 14-12) took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a one-out solo home run from Luis Hernandez. The Blue Crabs responded in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead as Bluefish starter Ross Seaton got into trouble.
Seaton gave up a leadoff double to Brian Bistagne, who went to third on a Lozada single. With Garcia up to bat, Bistagne scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1. Bistagne was 2 for 4 with both of his hits being doubles.
Vaughn and Snyder were each hit by pitches to load the bases with one out. Hoes then delivered with a two-run single to give the Blue Crabs a 3-1 lead.
The Bluefish rallied in the eighth versus Southern Maryland reliever Zack Thornton with a Jose Cuevas leadoff homer and a two-out, two-run bomb by Angelys Nina to go back in front 4-3. In the bottom half of the inning, Blue Crabs catcher Luis Alen hit a two-out, solo homer off of Ramirez to tie the game at 4.
Blue Crabs pitcher David Russo did not factor into the decision, but did have a quality start. Russo, making a spot start out of the bullpen, gave up just one run on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings.
“[Alen] called a great game behind the plate and I was able to throw some cutters in and out and made their hitters work hard,” Russo said. “This was big for to win the series. We’ve been in a lot of one run ballgames and today everything worked out for us in the end.”
Blue Crabs fall Tuesday
Southern Maryland scored twice in the bottom of the first on a Vaughn sacrifice fly and a Hoes RBI single to grab a quick 2-0 lead, but they did not tally another run for the rest of the game as Bridgeport came back to win 6-2. The Bluefish outhit the Blue Crabs 13-4.
Bridgeport starter Charles Brewer (7-4) earned the win, allowing just two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and one walk in six innings.
Brewer retired 10 in a row and 13 of the last 14 hitters he faced from the second through the sixth. The Bluefish bullpen trio of Vinnie Pestano, Wander Perez and Manny Delcarmen retired all nine batters in the final three innings, including striking out seven straight.
Blue Crabs starter Brian Grening had to leave the game after suffering a right forearm contusion on a line drive hit by Jonathan Galvez with two outs in the top of the second with the home team ahead 2-1. Grening is listed as day to day.
Reliever Sam Runion took over for Grening and the Bluefish would tie the game at 2 in the third on an RBI single by Sean Burroughs. The Bluefish took the lead for good in the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles from Tony Abreu and Welington Dotel and added two more insurance runs in the eighth.
Former Blue Crab D’Arby Myers led the way for Bridgeport with three hits, two of them doubles, with two runs scored. Lozada finished with two hits for the Blue Crabs.
Runion (1-2) suffered the loss, giving up three runs in six hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Craig Stem came in for Runion to start the fifth and threw three scoreless innings before allowing a run in the eighth.
Blue Crabs players mob left fielder L.J. Hoes after he delivered a two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Blue Crabs a 4-3 victory over the Bridgeport Bluefish on Wednesday afternoon at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
Blue Crabs starting pitcher David Russo finished with a no-decision in Wednesday afternoon’s 5-4 walk-off win over the Bridgeport Bluefish in the rubber match of a three-game series at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. Russo allowed just one run on four hits in six innings with one walk and three strikeouts.