Grening Tosses Another Gem for Fourth Straight Win

(Waldorf, MD., Jun. 23, 2017) – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (35-25) were victorious in game one over the Bridgeport Bluefish (34-27) 7-5, with Brian Grening (6-1) leading the way on the mound once again.

The day got off to a rough start for Grening, as he gave up two runs in the first inning. Three straight singles started the game, loading the bases for cleanup hitter Sean Burroughs. Burroughs hit a hard grounder to second, forcing a bobble and an error, and scoring D’Arby Myers. Grening finally picked up an out, getting a 4-6-3 double play from Jose Gil, but allowing the second run in the inning to cross.

The Blue Crabs responded immediately, jumping on reigning Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year, Jonathon Albaladejo (4-6). Back-to-back singles led-off the inning, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. After a strikeout, Michael Snyder came through with an RBI single, pushing Jose Lozada across to open the scoring. Cory Vaughn followed with another RBI single, scoring Edwin Garcia on a hit-and-run, tying the game. Two batters later, Zach Cone followed the script with an RBI single of his own, plating Snyder and giving Southern Maryland a 3-2 lead.

Southern Maryland picked up another run in the second, as Lozada came around to score again, this time on a single from Garcia. Grening took over from there, allowing just four hits over his last six innings of work, en route to his sixth straight quality start for the team.

After seven strong innings, Grening gave way to reliever Zack Thornton for the eighth. Bridgeport cut the lead in half in the inning, as Daniel Fields connected on a solo shot to left-center field. Fields seventh homerun of the season brought Bridgeport to within one, 4-3 heading to the bottom of the eighth.

The Blue Crabs added three very important insurance runs in the inning. Devon Rodriguez led-off the inning with a triple, before a walk to Brian Bistagne and a hit-by-pitch of Ryan Wiggins loaded the bases. Lozada came through on the next play, scoring two with an RBI single. Garcia followed by picking up his second RBI, scoring Wiggins on a sacrifice fly to right field, and putting Southern Maryland ahead 7-3.

Thornton, who threw just eight pitches in the eighth, came back out for the ninth, looking for the two-inning save. Thronton gave up a single and a walk to start the inning, with Luis Hernandez singling to score Ozney Guillen. Back-to-back strikeouts followed, putting Thornton within one out of picking up his first save of the season. However, two straight singles scored another run, and loaded the bases, within Manager John Harris electing to remove Thornton and turn the last out over to Jesse Beal.

“With (closer) Cody Eppley out, we had to find a way to get through the last few innings,” said Harris. “Grening did a great job on the mound, and he deserved a win that our bullpen needed to go out and finish for him.”

Beal (S,2) came in, immediately locking into a battle with Jonathon Galvez at the plate. Beal fell behind 3-1, before getting Galvez to fly out to left, stranding the bases loaded and clinching the 7-5 victory. The win moves the Blue Crabs to a 2.5 game lead in the Freedom Division, with just 10 games remaining in the first half of the season.

The Blue Crabs return to action Saturday, June 24th for game two of the three-game series against the Bluefish. Southern Maryland will send RHP Gaby Hernandez (4-1, 2.74) to the mound, looking to clinch another series win for the team. He will matchup with Bridgeport’s RHP Charles Brewer (4-1, 4.98), facing Southern Maryland for the second time this season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 P.M. on Saturday 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 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 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.

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