Sea­son ends for Blue Crabs

Ousted in four games by York in Free­dom Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­onship Se­ries

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

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.

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