Luis Alen Walk-Off Single Opens Second Half

(Waldorf, MD., Jul. 3, 2017) – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (1-0) took the first game of a four-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters (0-1) 2-1, opening the second half of the season with a walk-off victory.

The game was a true pitcher’s duel, with each side sending an All-Star to the mound. Jake Hale got the start for Sugar Land, and ran into trouble early. He allowed a lead-off hit to Jose Lozada, but immediately picked off the runner. Back-to-back hits followed, before a double play worked Hale out of the jam.

Brian Grening (7-2) on the other side tossed another gem for the Blue Crabs. The right-hander was perfect through his first 4.1 innings, before a solo homerun from Bryan Pounds ended it. Pounds fifth homerun of the season broke the scoreless tie, putting Sugar Land ahead 1-0.

Southern Maryland responded in the bottom of the sixth, picking up a run off Hale, in what proved to be his final inning. Cory Vaughn started the rally with a one-out single, advancing to second on a balk from Hale. L.J. Hoes battled in the next at-bat, coming through with an RBI single to right field, scoring Vaughn from second and tying the game at 1-1.

Grening took over the game from there, as he allowed just two hits the rest of the way, tossing all nine innings, and setting the Blue Crabs up for a dramatic finish. Andrew Johnston (0-2) came on for Sugar Land in the ninth, and allowed a one-out single to Zach Cone. Cone advanced to second on a groundball, bringing up the number nine spot in the Southern Maryland lineup. Manager John Harris elected to call on a pinch-hitter, turning the two-out RBI situation over to Luis Alen. After battling to a full-count, Alen shot a groundball back up the middle, giving Cone enough time to slide in safely, and pick up the walk-off 2-1 victory.

“It was great to go out and go deep into the game tonight,” said Grening. “My goal was to give our bullpen as much rest as I could, and I’m happy the team was able to pick up the win and start the second half strong.”

The Blue Crabs return to action Tuesday, July 4th, for the second game of a four-game series against the Skeeters. Southern Maryland will send RHP Gaby Hernandez (5-1, 3.06) to the mound, looking to build off his first Atlantic League All-Star selection. He will matchup with Sugar Land’s RHP Bobby Blevins (4-4, 4.35), facing the Blue Crabs for the third time this season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 P.M. on Tuesday at Regency Furniture Stadium as we celebrate the Fourth of July with the Red, White, and Blue Crabs Celebration.

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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