Blue Crabs lose two, look to play­offs

Al­low 3 homers in opener, on short end in sec­ond

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @aj­ma­son301

After fall­ing 6-1 on Tues­day night in the be­gin­ning of a three-game se­ries ver­sus the York Revo­lu­tion, the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs were look­ing to even things up on Wed­nes­day night.

It was not to be as Travis Wither­spoon’s RBI triple off of Blue Crabs re­liever Jesse Beal in the bot­tom of the sixth in­ning held up for York in a 3-2 vic­tory at Peo­plesBank Park in York, Pa.

York (66-70 over­all, 38-28 Free­dom Di­vi­sion sec­ond half) won its fifth straight game, ty­ing a sea­son high, and had a magic num­ber of two en­ter­ing Thurs­day to clinch the At­lantic League’s Free­dom Di­vi­sion sec­ond-half ti­tle.

Sugar Land de­feated Bridge­port 5-2 and Long Is­land beat Lan­caster 9-4 in 10 in­nings on Wed­nes­day, al­low­ing Sugar Land (65-71, 35-31) to move into a sec­ond-place tie with Lan­caster (73-63, 3531) with each team three games be­hind first-place York with four games left in the reg­u­lar sea­son en­ter­ing Thurs­day.

Long Is­land (72-64, 3630) led Bridge­port (74-62, 33-33) by three games en­ter­ing Thurs­day in the race for the Lib­erty Di­vi­sion sec­ond-half crown.

South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs (67-69, 28-38) will play its last se­ries of the reg­u­lar sea­son this weekend at home ver­sus New Bri­tain start­ing with the opener at 6:35 tonight. Then the Blue Crabs head into the play­offs with the first two games of the best-of-five Free­dom Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­onship Se­ries Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day at the sec­ond-half cham­pion and the fi­nal three (Games 4 and 5 if nec­es­sary) at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf start­ing next Fri­day.

Wed­nes­day night at York, Revo­lu­tion closer Ricardo Gomez hit Devon Ro­driguez with a pitch to put the ty­ing run on base with two outs in the top of the ninth, but he then struck out Cory Vaughn to end the game and pick up his sec­ond save of the sea­son.

Gomez struck out Nate Sam­son, Michael Sny­der and Ro­driguez in the ninth.

York’s Joe Van Meter got the win out of the bullpen, de­spite giv­ing up a lead­off home run to Zach Cone in the sixth that tied the game.

York took a 2-0 lead in the bot­tom of the sec­ond on a first-pitch lead­off homer by Telvin Nash and a two-out RBI sin­gle by Ryan Dent. South­ern Mary­land came to within 2-1 on lead­off homer by Luis Alen in the top of the third be­fore Cone’s big hit down the left-field line, ruled fair by the um­pires, tied the game.

After York had re­gained the lead in the bot­tom of the sixth, the Blue Crabs had its chances to drive in runs.

With run­ners on first and sec­ond in the sev­enth, Vaughn hit into a 5-43 dou­ble play and Tucker Nathans struck out with the ty­ing run on third base to end the in­ning. York turned three dou­ble plays in the con­test.

In the eighth, Jose Lozada sin­gled with two outs and then stole sec­ond base. But Ed­win Gar­cia lined out to Dent at short­stop, leav­ing the ty­ing run on base again.

Blue Crabs starter Drew Hayes did not fac­tor in the de­ci­sion, al­low­ing just two runs (1 earned) on three hits with three walks and six strike­outs.

Tues­day, York scored four runs in the first two in­nings against Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thomp­son and never looked back.

Revo­lu­tion starter Frank Gai­ley al­lowed just two hits over six in­nings with seven strike­outs and no walks. Gai­ley re­tired the first 13 South­ern Mary­land hit­ters of the game be­fore Ro­driguez broke up his per­fect game bid on an in­field sin­gle in the fifth.

Jared Mitchell’s solo homer gave York a 1-0 lead in the bot­tom of the first and then a three-run sec­ond was capped by Alonzo Harris’ two-run home run. Luis Cruz’s RBI sin­gle made it 5-0 in the fifth.

Sny­der broke up the shutout with a solo homer in the sev­enth, his At­lantic League-lead­ing 25th long ball of the sea­son.

Chase Simp­son led off the sev­enth for York with a homer to end the scor­ing.

Thomp­son, a 2003 La Plata High School grad­u­ate, suf­fered the loss to fall 9-7. He gave up five runs on nine hits with one walk and six strike­outs in 5 2/3 in­nings.

Blue Crabs man­ager James Fris­bie could not be reached for com­ment.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

Blue Crabs first base­man Michael Sny­der hit his At­lantic League-lead­ing 25th home run of the sea­son in Tues­day’s 6-1 loss at York.

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