Pitchers Stem and Boshers Teammates Again 10 Years Later

boshers stem team

Blue Crabs Pitchers Craig Stem, Number 17, and Alex Boshers, Number 15, in their high school days

In baseball, the word “teammate” holds a much deeper meaning than just someone who plays on the same team. From preparing for all 120+ games, to six-hour bus trips, and the long nights in hotels, you spend almost every day for six months with your teammates. For high school friends Craig Stem and Alex Boshers, to be able to call each other teammates again after 10 years brings feeling of nostalgia.

The pair, separated by just one year, grew up playing ball just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Despite playing at the same Little League park growing up, the one-year age gap kept them from ever playing on the same team. That would change in 2003 when the two teamed up on a middle school team at Donelson Christian Academy.

“I knew who Craig was from playing at the same Little League, but that year at Donelson was the first time we had ever gotten to play together,” said Boshers.

The players separated for a year as Stem joined the high school team, but were back together in 2005. The younger Boshers would spend his first year of high school on Junior Varsity, while Stem spent the year between the JV team and the Varsity squad. The following season the two both earned a spot on varsity, finally spending a full season as teammates.

“My junior season was the year that I really got to know Alex because that was the first time we had spent an entire season together,” said Stem. “We had a similar group of friends that we would run around with, so once we became teammates we naturally became pretty close as well.”

For the next two years the pair pitched together at the varsity level, with Stem working primarily as a starter and Boshers being used in a variety of roles on the mound. After graduating from Donelson in 2008, Stem headed to the next level, committing to pitch at the collegiate level at Western Kentucky University.

“I knew I wanted to continue to play after high school, so seeing someone from the school able to do it showed me the opportunity was out there,” said Boshers. “Western Kentucky was somewhere I was interested in potentially going to pitch, so I followed Craig’s first year there very closely.”

Although WKU didn’t work out for Boshers, the right-hander got a Division-1 offer from the University of Tennessee-Martin. Both stayed in contact throughout their college careers, with Stem eventually being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011 after his junior season. Boshers finished his collegiate career in 2014, signing his first professional contract in 2015 with the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association.

“We were the only two guys from our high school that pursued baseball at the next level,” said Stem. “It was nice to have somebody to talk to from my past that was going through the same grind of professional baseball that I was.”

Stem worked his way through affiliated ball with the Dodgers and the Miami Marlins, before coming to the Atlantic League for the first time in 2016. After three good seasons in the American Association, Boshers believed he was ready to make the jump up and join his high school buddy at this level.

“After a really good season in 2016, I had begun thinking about coming to the Atlantic League,” said Boshers. “Ultimately, I decided to wait one more season, but after last year I immediately went to the GM in Wichita and let him know that I wanted to make the jump.”

Although he didn’t specify a team in the league, Boshers was thrilled when he found out that Southern Maryland was going to be his destination. He immediately had to call his old friend and let him know the good news.

“We had spoken a little bit during the offseason, mostly about Winter Ball and him potentially visiting Tennessee,” said Stem. “He called me out of the blue one day and just said ‘Hey man, I’m coming to join you in Southern Maryland’ which was exciting news for me.”

The trade was made official in January, and for the first time in 10 years, Alex Boshers and Craig Stem could say they were teammates once more.

“I’m excited for the move, especially to be able to play with someone I know again. It’s going to be pretty nostalgic for me to lace ‘em up with Craig again and go out and compete for a championship,” finished Boshers.

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2018 Spring Training Schedule

Spring training Announcement (1)With only 23 days left until Opening Day of the 2018 season, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs are excited to announce their Spring Training schedule!

The week begins on Sunday, April 15th as the team holds their open tryouts at 12 P.M. This is the chance to show what you’ve got and potentially earn a spot on the Blue Crabs 2018 roster. All participants in open tryouts must register prior to the event.  For details click here

The full roster for the team will then report on Monday, April 16th for the first official practice of the season.

Wednesday April 18th the Blue Crabs will spread throughout Southern Maryland for their annual Community Caravan. The Community Caravan sends players, coaches, and staff out to the different counties of Southern Maryland to have a day of outreach in support of local initiatives. This year the team will partner with local organizations such as the Children’s Aid Society, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, and ARC of Southern Maryland, among others.

Media Day will return to the Ballpark on Thursday, April 19th beginning at 10 AM. This will be the first opportunity for local news outlets to access the team and coaching staff for the 2018 season.

Regency Furniture Stadium will then play host to an exciting weekend, as Fan Fest 2018 takes place. The event is headlined by a two-day SMAC showcase, featuring local high school varsity baseball teams facing off right on the Blue Crabs field. The games begin on Friday night, carrying into Saturday’s festivities as well. Saturday features the main Fan Fest events from 10 AM-2 PM, featuring Q&A’s, autograph sessions, and games/activities with the 2018 players and coaches. The weekend fun is free for all ages and is the first opportunity for fans to pick up their tickets for the upcoming season!

The final tune-up for the season will take place in the form of a two-day Spring Training series with the York Revolution. Southern Maryland will host the reigning champs on Sunday, April 22nd for an exhibition game beginning at 1 PM. The team will then travel to York the next day for the second-half of the preseason games. The home exhibition game is open to the public and admission is free.

“Spring Training is an exciting time because it means the season is right around the corner,” said Blue Crabs General Manager Courtney Knichel. “That week of events are a great opportunity for fans to get to know the players better while creating excitement in the community about the season.”
 

 

Blue Crabs Add 2 ALPB Newcomers

daniel strausborgerThe Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have added two players to the 2018 roster, former MLB outfielder Ryan Strausborger and infielder Andrew Daniel.

The 30-year-old Strausborger comes to the Blue Crabs for his first year in the Atlantic League. Strausborger was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the 16th round of the 2010 MLB draft. The Indiana State alum had a breakout season in 2011, hitting .270 while leading the Myrtle Beach Pelicans with 31 stolen bases. This led to his selection as a Mid-Season, Post-Season, and MILB Organization All-Star that season.

Strausborger continued to climb the ranks of the Rangers organization, eventually breaking through to The Show in 2015. After appearing in 31 games for the Rangers that season, the Indiana native began the next season at the AAA level. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners in July of 2016, before signing as a free agent with the Minnesota Twins in 2017. Across eight professional seasons, Strausborger has posted an 82% stolen base percentage, while averaging over 22 stolen bases per year.

Daniel will come to Southern Maryland for his fifth season in professional baseball. The infielder burst onto the national scene in 2012, his freshman year at the University of San Diego. Daniel hit .339 with four homeruns and 45 RBI’s, earning him recognition as a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger, NCBWA, and Baseball America.

After making back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances at USD, the California native was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 11th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Daniel hit .340 in his first professional season, earning him Organization All-Star honors. He spent the next 2+ seasons with the Angels organization, before finishing 2017 in the Atlanta Braves system.

“Strausborger brings a knack for stolen bases, which is something we were looking to add this season,” said Manager James Frisbie. “Daniel has shown a lot of potential in his career and will be a big boost to our lineup if he puts it all together this season.”

Runion Returns, Two MLB Vets Join the Pitching Staff

Player Signings Website Runner.jpgThe Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have announced the return of RHP Sam Runion, as well as the signings of RHP Sean O’Sullivan and LHP Drake Britton.

Runion rejoins the Blue Crabs after appearing in 52 games during the 2017 season. During his first campaign with the team, the right-hander reliever went 3-2 on the year, picking up a save as well. Runion came on strong late in the season, allowing just one run over his final 20 outings, including a 1.23 ERA in the month of September.

The Asheville, North Carolina native was a 2007 second round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals. After seven seasons in the Royals organization, Runion signed with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014. After nine games with the Rays AA affiliate, Runion joined the Washington Nationals organization, where he spent the next three seasons.

The 30-year-old O’Sullivan comes to Southern Maryland with seven years of MLB experience under his belt. The right-hander was originally a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in 2006 out of Grossmont College. O’Sullivan made an impact right away, going 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his first professional season, being named a Post-Season All-Star for the Orem Owlz.

The starter quickly worked his way up the ranks of the Angels organization, making his MLB debut in 2009 as a member of the Angels. His debut came on the road against the San Francisco Giants, where he fittingly picked up the win on Irish Heritage Night.

Britton joins the Blue Crabs by way of the Bridgeport Bluefish Disposal Draft. The 28-year-old made his Atlantic League debut in 2017 with the Bluefish, going 4-1 with a 3.68 ERA. Britton made 34 appearances out of the bullpen last season, the highest total for a left-hander on his team.

The southpaw was drafted out of high school by the Boston Red Sox in 2007. Working as a starter at the time, Britton climbed the Red Sox ranks, being named an All-Star at the AA level in 2013. This led to the Red Sox bringing Britton up to the majors later that season, working 18 games in relief for the eventual World Series champions that season.

“Experience on the mound is a vital part to any team’s success, and these three bring plenty of that to our roster,” said Manager James Frisbie. “Runion and Britton both put up solid campaigns in the league last season, while O’Sullivan is a proven winner at every level to this point.”

A Little Luck O’The Irish for the Blue Crabs with Signing of O’Sullivan

Baseball Card-St Paddy's day.jpgThe Southern Maryland Blue Crabs are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the signing of former MLB pitcher Sean O’Sullivan.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to get out there and compete for the Blue Crabs,” said O’Sullivan. “It means a lot to me joining on this day as well, coming from an Irish family. My grandparents were born in Ireland and a lot of my family still lives there today.”

The 30-year-old O’Sullivan comes to Southern Maryland with seven years of MLB experience under his belt. The right-hander was originally a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in 2006 out of Grossmont College. O’Sullivan made an impact right away, going 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his first professional season, being named a Post-Season All-Star for the Orem Owlz.

The starter quickly worked his way up the ranks of the Angels organization, making his MLB debut in 2009 as a member of the Angels. His debut came on the road against the San Francisco Giants, where he fittingly picked up the win on Irish Heritage Night.

After 17 appearances for Los Angeles, O’Sullivan was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 2010. He spent the next two seasons with the Royals, before a two-year stint with the San Diego Padres, and finally a five-game stop with the Boston Red Sox in 2016.

“Sean’s experience at the highest level is invaluable to our pitching staff,” said Manager James Frisbie. “You always want guys like him in your rotation, consistently putting your team in a position to win games. And of course a little luck of the Irish never hurt anybody.”

Across his 12-year career, O’Sullivan has posted a 106-85 record, while appearing in over 300 games. He has pitched for seven different Major League organizations, most recently the Washington Nationals in 2017.