Blue Crabs edge Bridge­port on Hoes’ walk-off sin­gle

Hoes’ walk-off sin­gle helps Blue Crabs take se­ries over Bridge­port Blue­fish

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

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.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

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.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

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.

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