(Waldorf, MD., Aug. 1, 2018) – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (8-13) split a doubleheader against the Lancaster Barnstormers (9-11), walking off game on in 16 innings 6-5 before dropping game two 4-2.
Neither team got any offense in the first, before Southern Maryland opened the scoring in the second of game one. Jon Griffin singled to lead off the inning but was replaced at first by Frank Martinez on a fielder’s choice. Frank Martinez then doubled to right-center field, bringing Martinez all the way around from first to open the scoring on the day.
They added another in the third, with Angelys Nina scoring on a fielder’s choice from Devon Rodriguez. The Barnstormers came roaring back with three in the fourth, taking their first lead on the day. A pair of one-out singles from Ryan Casteel and Jimmy Paredes put two aboard in the inning, before a wild pitch and a passed ball brought Casteel home. A double from Josh Bell ensued brought home Paredes, with Bell scoring on a single from Grant Desme to give Lancaster a 3-2 lead.
Southern Maryland bounced back right away, retaking the lead with two in the bottom half of the inning. After Joe Gardner got a groundout to start the inning, the right-hander issued a walk to Cory Vaughn and a single to Craig Maddox. Angelys Nina followed that with a double down the third base line, bringing home both runners to put the team ahead by one.
Darian Sandford got the following inning started with a single, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt. Sandford then stole third, allowing him to take off for home on a groundball to first from Blake Gailen. The throw came home to try and cut down the tying run, but it went wide of the catcher for an error, allowing the game to even up at 4-4.
That proved to be a turning point in the game, as Gardner was removed after the fifth and Southern Maryland’s starter Craig Stem was lifted after six strong innings. Neither team got anything going in the seventh, sending game one of the doubleheader in to extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth, the Barnstormers would plate one in the top of the ninth. Desme doubled as the leadoff hitter in the inning, moving over to third on a sacrifice bunt from Vladimir Frias. Sandford would add a sacrifice fly, bringing home Desme to take the lead.
The closer Matt Reynolds came on in the bottom of the inning, looking to shut the door on game one. Nina singled to start the frame, moving over to second a sacrifice bunt from Teodoro Martinez. A single from Edwin Garcia would move Nina up to third, a sacrifice fly from Rodriguez would allow him to score and tie the game. A single from Griffin moved the winning run in Garcia to second, but Reynolds would strand him there with a strikeout.
The game was nowhere near finished from there, as both bullpens settled in nicely from there. The Barnstormers used three different relievers to get through the next six innings, allowing just three hits combined. After a scoreless inning from Jason Creasy in the tenth, the Blue Crabs turned to Chris Mazza for the next five innings. The right-handed reliever allowed five hits in the five scoreless innings, striking out four batters as well.
Sam Runion (1-5) got the call in the top of the 16th and responded with a scoreless inning, stranding Sandford at third. Jared Lakind (1-3) came on for the bottom half of the inning, getting a popup to start his night. The southpaw allowed a single to Garcia, before a double from Rodriguez put Garcia on the move being waved the whole way. The cutoff throw was just late to the plate, allowing Garcia to slide in safely and finish the 6-5 win in walk-off fashion for Southern Maryland.
After a crazy 16-inning game one and a 45-minute break the teams returned to the field for game two of the doubleheader. The Barnstormers wasted no time grabbing the lead in that one, scoring one in the top of the first. David Wayne Russo (1-3) walked Sandford to start the inning, with a Tyler Bortnick double bringing the speedy Sandford all the way home to put the first run in game two on the board.
The Blue Crabs would bounce back in the bottom of the inning, tying things up right away. Teodoro Martinez singled to start things, but a lineout and a caught stealing emptied the bases with two outs. Rodriguez singled, moving to scoring position on a single from Griffin. A third straight single from Nina brought home Rodriguez, evening the game at 1-1.
After a scoreless second, Lancaster took the lead with three in the third inning. After a bunt attempt was snuffed out during the first at-bat, Sandford doubled to get in scoring position. Bortnick followed that with a single, bringing Sandford around once again. An error at third allowed Bortnick to second and Josh Bell to reach first. A Casteel single loaded the bases, before a single from Paredes brought home two and put the Barnstormers ahead 4-1.
The Blue Crabs fought back for one in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the deficit to two. After reliever Stephen Johnson (2-0) forced a popout to start the inning, Austin Green singled to reach. An error at shortstop moved Green to second, putting two on with one out. Two batters later a two-out single from Martinez brought home Green, putting the score at 4-2.
After a pair of scoreless innings followed, sending things to the seventh still with two runs separating the teams. Garrett Granitz (S1) came on for the bottom of the inning, allowing back-to-back one out singles to bring the winning run to the plate. Granitz responded with a strikeout and a groundout, finishing off the 4-2 win for the Barnstormers and splitting the day after 23 innings between the two games.
The Blue Crabs return to action Thursday, August 2nd for the series finale against the Barnstormers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 P.M. on Thursday 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 126 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 begin its 11th season in April 2018. Please call 301-638-9788 or visit http://www.somdbluecrabs.com for more information.
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 38 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 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.
For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.