(Waldorf, MD., Apr. 26, 2017) – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (4-2) took game one of a Wednesday seven-inning doubleheader against the York Revolution (1-4) by a score of 2-0, before clinching the series with a dramatic 4-3 win in game two.
The Blue Crabs sent their all-time strikeout leader, Gaby Hernandez, to the mound for his first outing of the season in game one. The Blue Crabs picked up a run in the first after loading the bases off of Revs starter Victor Mateo (0-1). Mateo hit leadoff batter Gary Brown, before walking the second and third hitters to load the bases for cleanup hitter Michael Snyder, who rolled into a 5-4-3 double play that plated Brown from third.
Snyder scored Zach Wilson from first on a double to left-center field in the sixth, extending the Blue Crabs lead to 2-0. Those two runs were more than enough for Hernandez, who tossed six innings of scoreless ball, before turning the game over to closer Cody Eppley (S,2) for the save. Eppley loaded the bases with one out, but struck out the final two Revolution batters to close game one.
“Anytime you can pitch well you are going to compete in a ball game,” said Manager John Harris. “We would obviously like to see the offense improve but its early in the season, so for now we are relying on our pitching staff, which has been great so far and earned us a couple of wins already.”
The Blue Crabs sent their opening day starter, Justin De Fratus (1-1) to the rubber for game two, hoping to clinch the three-game series by taking both in the doubleheader. Brown once again got the Blue Crabs going, singling to lead off the bottom of the first, later scoring on a Snyder sacrifice fly. De Fratus gave up a run in the fourth, with a Joel Guzman fielder’s choice scoring Alonzo Harris. A Harris single in the fifth plated third baseman Bryan Pounds, giving the Revs their first lead of the day.
“I knew from my first warmup pitch tonight was going to be a battle,” said De Fratus. “These are the nights, though, that define you as a pitcher, and I had to battle through without my best stuff to try to get the job done for my team.”
The Blue Crabs tied the game in the fifth, when Edwin Garcia doubled to deep center field, scoring Patrick Palmeiro from first. Garcia scored on a Brown fielder’s choice, and put the Blue Crabs back ahead 3-2. De Fratus came back out for the sixth and put runners on the corners with one out for Revs catcher Luis Alen. Alen hit a dribbler to Palmeiro at third who forced the runner at second, but allowed Angel Franco to score, tying the game. De Fratus finished the inning, leaving as the pitcher of record for Southern Maryland as they came to bat in the bottom of the sixth. With one out in the inning, left-fielder Cory Vaughn hit a long home run to left field, his first as a Blue Crab, and put the team ahead 4-3. Reliever Sam Runion (S,1) worked the top of the seventh inning, allowing a one out walk, but working a scoreless inning to notch his first save.
“I knew my swing was coming, I felt it towards the end of our opening series,” said Vaughn. “I felt really good coming in to tonight’s games and I put a great swing on that ball to put my team ahead and allow us to clinch this series early. We aren’t a team that anyone in the Atlantic League can sleep on anymore, we are here to compete.”
The Blue Crabs continue their 10th Anniversary Season Thursday, April 27th as they wrap up their three-game set with York.. The Blue Crabs will send veteran lefty Pat Misch to the mound, as he will face off against another southpaw from York, Frank Gailey (1-0). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 P.M. at Regency Furniture Stadium.
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