Blue Crabs are ready to flip the switch
Look for a fresh start in second half
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs don’t have to sit in last place any longer.
Despite finishing 26-37 in the Freedom Division during the Atlantic League season’s first half, the records have been reset and the Blue Crabs have new goals and new expectations for the second half thus far.
Southern Maryland dropped two of three games against York to open the second half last weekend, but did tally a 4-3 walk-off win in 11 innings in Sunday’s series finale at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf on a Frank Martinez bases-loaded RBI single.
The Blue Crabs were off for five days and return from the All-Star break with a threegame weekend series on the road in New Britain, starting at 6:35 tonight. The team returns home next week with a threegame series versus Somerset beginning Tuesday and Lancaster with a three-game weekend series starting Friday.
“It was a tough first half for us, but we were in a lot of close ballgames,” said Blue Crabs manager James Frisbie, whose Blue Crabs finished with a 1514 record in the month of June, but was just 8-21 on the road in the first half. “We had a strong month of June, we just have to stay healthy and continue to compete.”
The Blue Crabs have been without starting pitcher Daryl Thompson, a 2003 La Plata High Schol graduate, due to suffering a broken jaw in a June 21 game versus New Britain. A timetable has not been set for his return. Before his injury, Thompson had a strong first half on the hill, posting a ERA of 1.96, currently the lowest in the league among eligible pitchers.
Southern Maryland lost starter Brandon Cumpton, who signed with the Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons on July 4. In the month of June, the righthander went 2-1 with a 1.09 ERA, keying a Blue Crabs pitching staff that had a 3.65 ERA during that span.
Without those key starters, Frisbie mentioned that the bullpen has performed well collectively throughout the season, led by reliever Sam Runion and closer Cody Eppley.
“I like our bullpen, they are really clicking,” Frisbie said. “As a pitching staff we just have to competitive and see where the chips fall.”
In the batting lineup, outfield- er Cory Vaughn, shortstop Edwin Garcia, Martinez, outfielder Ryan Strausborger, and catcher Austin Green all have been key pieces in the batting lineup and will continue to be the backbone as the second half of the season goes on.
Vaughn is currently third in the Atlantic League with 11 home runs.
“All those guys can hit and brings immediate offense for us, it is all about consistency and driving in runs,” Frisbie said. “Ryan has done a great job leading off and Austin Green has really stepped up for us.”
Garcia mentioned the expectations for him and the team moving forward.
“Our goal as a team is to win the second half and I think we can do it,” said Garcia, who is batting .246 with two home runs and 19 RBIs on the season. “We just have to keep playing hard every day and good things will come.”
Above left. after a 26-37 record in the Atlantic League Freedom Division first half, manager James Frisbie will look to help turn things around for his Southern Maryland Blue Crabs during the second half of the season. Above right, Infielder Jon Griffin and the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs get ready to continue the second half of the Atlantic League baseball season when it takes on the New Britain Bees on the road in a three-game weekend series beginning tonight.