(Waldorf, MD., Apr. 20, 2017) – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (0-1) struggled at the plate, scratching across just one run in a 7-1 opening day loss to the Long Island Ducks (1-0) in front of 3,998 fans in their home opener.
Long Island got on the board early against the Blue Crabs opening day starting pitcher Justin De Fratus. An error in right field by Zach Cone with 2 outs kept the first inning alive for Long Island, and an RBI single by Nate Freiman gave Long Island an early lead, which they never relinquished. De Fratus (L, 0-1) threw 6 innings giving up two unearned runs on nine hits. “I’m really happy with how I threw the ball tonight,” said De Fratus. “I just need to work on closing those innings out and covering up any mistakes behind me.”
Long Island scratched across another run in the top of the fourth inning, allowing Long Island’s Alex Burg to score on a Delta Cleary Jr. single, after Burg reached on an error to lead off the inning. The Blue Crabs answered in the bottom of the fourth, picking up their only run on a Zach Cone sacrifice fly that scored Danny Muno from third.
Making his fourth consecutive opening day start for the Ducks, Long Island starter John Brownell (1-0) picked up the win, tossing five innings, giving up just one hit, one run, and striking out five. With a 2-1 lead Brownell turned it over to a stellar bullpen for the Ducks. Four Long Island relievers combined to allow just three hits and no runs across the final four innings.
Long Island strung together two hits and a walk to load the bases in the seventh inning for Cody Puckett. Puckett was hit by an 0-2 fastball from Southern Maryland’s Rob Carson, extending the Long Island lead to 3-1, before Cody Hebner came out of the bullpen for the Blue Crabs to record the final two outs of the inning.
The Ducks took that 3-1 lead into a rain delay to start the eighth inning, and when they returned the offense exploded, scoring four runs on two hits and three walks in the top of the eighth, and extending their lead to 7-1, a score that would hold the remained of the night.
“It was disappointing because you always want to win, but there are 139 more games to look forward to this season,” said Blue Crabs Manager John Harris. “Brownell is tough but our guys are going to hit and they will be fun to watch when they hit their groove.”
The Blue Crabs continue their season Friday, April 21st against the Ducks. The Blue Crabs will send six-year MLB veteran LHP Pat Misch to the mound, with Long Island starting another veteran in LHP Raphael Perez.
For more information on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, or to reserve your seat today for any of the Blue Crabs upcoming home games, please visit our website at somdbluecrabs.com or call us at 301-638-9788.
About the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs: The Blue Crabs play 140 regular season games in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs. The Blue Crabs play at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland with affordable family fun. The franchise will open its 10th anniversary season on Thursday April 20, 2017. Please call 301-638-9788 or visit http://www.somdbluecrabs.com for more information and to reserve your seat at the ballpark today!
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB): The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit http://www.AtlanticLeague.com