Blue Crabs lose two, look to playoffs
Allow 3 homers in opener, on short end in second
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.
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.