(Waldorf, MD., May 5, 2017) – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (7-8) won the opening game of their three-game series 2-1 against the Long Island Ducks (8-7) in Long Island on Friday.
Southern Maryland’s starter, Brian Grening (1-0) battled for seven innings, giving up just one run on four hits. He was once again matched up against the Ducks Tim Melville (0-2), who pitched against Grening in game four of the opening series of the season for both teams, with Long Island taking that game 3-2 in Southern Maryland.
Grening got behind early in tonight’s game, giving up a solo shot to Long Island’s Cody Puckett in the bottom of the second inning. Southern Maryland responded quickly in the top of the third inning, tying the game at 1-1. Batting for the first time with the Blue Crabs, Jose Lozada drew a walk, before scoring two batters later on a Gary Brown single.
The Blue Crabs took their first lead of the night in the fifth inning, as Michael Snyder scored Brown from third with a two-out single to left field. Southern Maryland turned that lead back over to Grening, who sat down the last 11 batters he faced, getting Long Island to go down one-two-three in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Grening was lifted from the game after seven strong innings. Manager John Harris turned the eighth inning over to the big set-up man for the Blue Crabs, Jesse Beal. Beal gave up a leadoff single to the veteran Dan Lyons, but recovered by getting a 5-4-3 double play from Elmer Reyes. He then got the Ducks leadoff hitter to ground out to second, working another three up, three down inning.
Closer Cody Eppley (S,5) came in for the save in the ninth, tasked with locking down the first win of the season for his starter. Eppley was forced to face the middle of Long Island’s lineup, but kept the pitching staff’s trend going, sitting down the Ducks in order to end the game. The win improved Southern Maryland to 7-8 on the season, and snapped a two-game losing streak for the team.
The Blue Crabs return to action Saturday, May 6th in the second game of the three-game series on the road against the Ducks. Southern Maryland will send RHP Gaby Hernandez (0-0, 0.75 ERA) to the mound, carrying the third best ERA in the Atlantic League currently among starting pitchers. He will face-off against Long Island’s RHP John Brownell (1-0, 3.00 ERA), who defeated the Blue Crabs on opening day earlier this season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 P.M. on Saturday at Bethpage Ballpark.
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 www.AtlanticLeague.com