Season ends for Blue Crabs
Ousted in four games by York in Freedom Division Championship Series
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs were facing elimination for a second straight night when they took the field for Game 4 of the Freedom Division Championship Series on Saturday night at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
After a 9-2 victory in Game 3 the night before to prolong the series, the Blue Crabs saw their season come to a close as the Revolution responded with a 5-1 win to claim the division series title.
York wins the best-of-five series 3 games to 1 and moves on to the At- lantic League Championship Series for the third time, first since 2011.
The 2017 Atlantic League Championship Series begins tonight at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, N.Y., as the Revolution take on the Long Island Ducks, which ousted Somerset in four games in the Liberty Division Championship Series.
York, which collected 14 hits in Game 4 versus the Blue Crabs, trailed 1-0 in the first inning, tied the game in the second and broke it open with a three-run fifth capped by a Michael Burgess two-run home run.
“York’s pitching kept us off bal- ance. We hit some balls hard tonight, but we weren’t able to put any in the gaps like last night,” Blue Crabs manager James Frisbie said. “York is a tough ballclub and is going to be hard to beat in the league championship.”
The Blue Crabs, who finished their 10th anniversary season with Saturday’s loss, advanced to the division series by claiming the firsthalf championship in a one-game playoff on Aug. 14 versus Lancaster. They finished the regular season
67-73 overall, 39-31 during the first half.
“We have a lot to proud of this year and our guys handled adversity well,” said Frisbie, who took over as manager for John Harris in August. “We wanted to go further in the playoffs, but we came up short. It was a great season. We won the first half championship. We have nothing to hang our heads about. This was exciting for the organization moving forward.”
The Blue Crabs scored the first run of the game in the first as Devon Rodriguez (2 hits) hit a two-out RBI single, bringing Nate Samson to home plate.
York’s Luis Cruz led off the top of the second with a double. Two batters later with two outs, Cruz scored on Chase Simpson’s single to tie the game.
Jared Mitchell, who led York with three hits in the game, led off the fifth with a single, stole second, then advanced to third on an error by Blue Crabs catcher Luis Alen as Telvin Nash advanced to first base on a dropped third strike and scored on the play to give York a 2-1 lead.
The Revolution tacked on two more runs on Burgess’ long ball to right field.
Burgess then drove in Rubi Silva on a one-out RBI double in the ninth to cap off the scoring.
York starting pitcher Logan Williamson picked up the win, allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout and three walks in five innings. The bullpen for the Revolution was able to hold the Blue Crabs, who managed just five hits, scoreless for the rest of the game.
Blue Crabs starter Drew Hayes took the loss. Hayes lasted just 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Blue Crabs win Game 3
In Game 3 on Friday at Regency, Southern Maryland starting pitcher Brian Grening picked up the win on the hill, allowing just one hit on the night with four walks and two strikeouts in six scoreless innings.
“It was good to come out and stop their momentum from the jump,” Grening said. “Big hits allowed our pitching to be able to take more risks and that’s what we did tonight. Looking forward to the rest of the series.”
Grening retired 17 of the 22 batters, including eight of the first nine to start the game, and the one hit allowed — a double to Ryan Dent — did not come until there were two outs in the top of the fifth.
“Brian was a guy on a mission and was real dialed in,” Frisbie said after Friday’s win. “He lifted us up and we were more relaxed tonight. We knew that if we lost tonight, our season was over. But we played well. York is a tough ballclub and you can’t play from behind with those guys. Game 4 is another must win and it is going to be a challenge.”
York, which scored 14 runs on 22 hits in the first two games, managed just six hits in Game 3 and scored its only runs in the top of the ninth on an Isaias Tejeda RBI double and a Dent RBI single.
The Blue Crabs, who finished with 11 hits, was on fire offensively from the start, scoring six runs in the first three innings.
Southern Maryland got on the board in the bottom of the first as designated hitter Michael Snyder hit a two-out double deep down the right-field line off of York starter Frank Gailey, scoring Samson, who drew a walk earlier in the inning.
The Blue Crabs made it 2-0 in the second as Patrick Palmeiro’s RBI single up the middle scored Cory Vaughn. They scored four more in the third, capped by a three-run homer over the left-field wall by Vaughn.
Samson led off the third with a single to right and then
scored as Simpson overthrew first base to push the lead to 3-0.
Two batters later with runners on second and third, Vaughn delivered with the three-run long ball on a full count, giving the Blue Crabs the six-run lead.
Snyder (3 for 4) led off the fifth with a solo homer, his second of the series. L.J. Hoes collected an RBI double in the sixth and Rodriguez added an RBI single in the eighth to make things 9-0.
Snyder finished with eight hits and two homers in the division series.
“Tonight it was all about Brian Grening. He was a bulldog. When you have a pitcher like that, it makes it real easy for your offense to keep going,” Snyder said. “It was a tough two games in York, but we are back home now and we feel good.”
Vaughn and Samson had two hits each for Southern Maryland in Friday’s affair.
Blue Crabs lose Game 2
Southern Maryland got off to a great start in Game 2 on Thursday night at PeoplesBank Park in York, Pa., but it was not enough in a 7-2 loss as York hit three home runs.
The Blue Crabs stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but did not score the rest of the night.
Jose Lozada led off the game
with a home run down the right-field line. The inning continued as Hoes walked with one out, moved to second on a Snyder single. After Rodriguez was robbed of a hit by York left fielder Alonzo Harris with a diving catch, Vaughn delivered with an RBI double to score Hoes. It was the first of two doubles by Vaughn on the night.
It remained 2-0 until the bottom of the third. Simpson led off the inning for York with a base hit and advanced to second on a two-out single by Silva. Then Nash — who walked off Southern Maryland in Game 1 on Wednesday night with a two-run homer in the 10th — smacked a three-run blast to left-center against Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson to put York ahead 3-2.
Harris gave the Revolution a 4-2 lead with a 2-out solo homer in the fourth.
The score remained at 4-2 until the bottom of the eighth when Simpson connected for a three-run homer to left-center versus Evan Reed, the Blue Crabs’ third of four relievers on the night.
Thompson, a 2003 La Plata High School graduate, took the loss. He went just five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks, a hit-batter, and three strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Southern Maryland starting pitcher Brian Grening picked up the win on the hill in Game 3 of the Freedom Division Championship Series on Friday night. Grening allowed just one hit on the night with four walks and two strikeouts in six scoreless innings as the Blue Crabs won 9-2.