News Release, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Southern Maryland came into game two of a three-game set riding their best stretch of baseball. The Blue Crabs had won 12 of their last 16 games but dropped a game this evening tonight against the Lancaster Barnstormers by a final score of 5-4. The scoring started in the second inning off of the Lancaster starter, Jared Lakind (L, 3-5).
It began with Charlie Valerio reaching on a single, and Tony Thomas followed by reaching on an error. With two outs and runners on second and third, the nine-hole hitter, Rubi Silva came to the dish and caught the Lancaster second baseman, Melvin Mercedes, off guard when he slapped a push bunt in his direction, giving Silva an infield single and the Blue Crabs and early 1-0 lead.
Lancaster responded on the Blue Crabs arm, Dusten Knight (W, 1-0) in the bottom of the second inning when Destin Hood homered for the second time in as many nights to tie the game at 1-1.
Knight joined the Blue Crabs just a few days ago and comes into Southern Maryland with an impressive resume under his belt. He began 2019 with the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, posting an incredible 1.59 ERA through 11.1 innings, and striking out 14 batters in that time frame. Knight allowed four in the bottom of the fourth frame, but it came in a strange manner.
A pair of bunts and a bloop were the deciding factors to bring the quartet home, nonetheless, Lancaster took a 5-1 lead. The game seemed as though it might hold at a 5-1 count throughout, and then came Charlie Valerio. The switch-hitting catcher launched a three-run home run in the top of the seventh to make it a one-run game heading into the final two innings.
Southern Maryland made it as close as it could be in the top half of the ninth. The Blue Crabs had runners on the corners with no outs. The Barnstormer’s infielders were in on the grass. Valerio hit a ground ball to second, and Travis Witherspoon got caught in a run down and tagged out, and in the meantime, Cory Vaughn tried to advance to third and was tagged out as well.
Southern Maryland went from a nearly definite scoring situation, and an incredible double play turned into a 5-4 loss. The Blue Crabs will return home on Friday, August 2nd for the series opener of a three-game set with the Somerset Patriots, and a 6:35 p.m first pitch.
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