At­lantic League makes changes for 2018 sea­son

Blue Crabs se­lect three play­ers in Bridge­port Player Dis­per­sal Draft; Road War­riors are back again

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­ Twit­ter: @aj­ma­son301

The At­lantic League of Pro­fes­sional Base­ball re­cently an­nounced the sea­son sched­ule for 2018.

The South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs will play a 126-game sched­ule next sea­son with the sea­son opener com­ing April 27 at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf against the two-time de­fend­ing Lib­erty Di­vi­sion cham­pion Long Is­land Ducks.

The Lib­erty Di­vi­sion will wel­come back the ad­di­tion of the Road War­riors, who will, by their call­ing of their name, play each of their games on the road. They’ve been uti­lized by the league in sea­sons past, most re­cently in 2011, and will re­place the Bridge­port Blue­fish.

“It is a bridge to 2019, so it will be a one-year team and they will par­tic­i­pate in 2018 and we have an­other lo­ca­tion that we will ex­pand to in 2019 bring­ing us back to our full com­ple­ment of eight com­mu­ni­ties,” said At­lantic League Pres­i­dent Rick White, re­fer­ring to the ad­di­tion of the Road War­riors. “We would’ve pre­ferred not to have did this, but from us los­ing a lease in Bridge­port we de­cided to bridge the gap and re­or­ga­nize the Road War­riors.”

The Road War­riors were placed in the Free­dom Di­vi­sion in 2011 and went 38-86. They will be Bridge­port’s spot in the Lib­erty Di­vi­sion in 2018.

“The Road War­riors were part of the At­lantic League in 2011 while the league was wait­ing for Sugar Land to be built,” Blue Crabs gen­eral man­ager Court­ney Knichel said. “It does work and proves to be some­thing new and ex­cit­ing for the fans. Es­sen­tially, the play­ers that play for the Road War­riors travel the en­tire sum­mer as they don’t have a home ball­park.”

On Nov. 1, the league held a Player Dis­per­sal Draft for the re­main­ing seven league clubs to ob­tain the 2018 ne­go­ti­at­ing rights to play­ers whose rights were cur­rently con­trolled by the Blue­fish.

The Blue Crabs se­lected three play­ers, ob­tain­ing the rights to catcher Jose Gil and pitch­ers Charles Brewer and Drake Britton.

Gil played in 56 games for the Blue­fish with a .314 bat­ting av­er­age and three home runs. The right-handed Brewer fin­ished his first sea­son in the At­lantic League in 2017 with an 8-6 record on the mound with Bridge­port. He struck out 117 bat­ters in 141 in­nings pitched. The lefty Britton fin­ished with a 4-1 record on the hill and a 3.68 for the Blue­fish in 2017.

“The Dis­per­sal Draft had three rounds and seven teams se­lected their pref­er­ence for play­ers who ap­peared on the Blue­fish ros­ter this year,” White said. “And play­ers that weren’t drafted were free agents.”

The Blue Crabs open up the 2018 sea­son with a sixgame home­s­tand be­gin­ning with open­ing night on April 27, play­ing three with Long Is­land fol­lowed by three ver­sus Lan­caster. That is then fol­lowed by the team’s first road trip of the sea­son, which con­sists of a three-day week­end series in Long Is­land be­fore re­turn­ing home ver­sus York and the Road War­riors.

With the Road War­riors join­ing for 2018, the Blue Crabs will have 72 home games and just 54 on the road. The home slate con­sists of a July 4th game ver­sus the Som­er­set Pa­tri­ots, Sun­day af­ter­noon games on both Mother’s and Fa­ther’s Day, a three­game series ver­sus the Lan­caster Barn­storm­ers on Me­mo­rial Day week- end and a three-game series ver­sus the Road War­riors on La­bor Day week­end.

“Nor­mally our sched­ule is 140 games long and each team has 70 home games, but with the Road War­riors not hav­ing a home ball­park we had to change the amount of games,” White said. “We now have a 72-game home sched­ule while the Road War­riors will be on the road.”

The league sched­ule will be di­vided into two 63-game halves, with the first half end­ing on July 5 and the reg­u­lar sea­son end­ing on Sept. 16.

“By adding two games to each team’s home sched­ule, that still leaves an ad­di­tional 56 dates where there is no home ball­park to play those games for the Road War­riors,” Knichel said.

Long Is­land will host the 21st an­nual At­lantic League All-Star game on July 11 at Beth­page Ball­park in Cen­tral Is­lip, N.Y., mak­ing it the third time ever that the Ducks hosted the mid­sum­mer clas­sic.


The South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs’ 2018 sched­ule fea­tures 72 home games and 54 on the road. The sea­son kicks off April 27.

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