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News Release, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
New Britain, CT – After putting 15 hits in 12 innings just a night before, Southern Maryland was on the brink of being on the wrong end of no-hitter until Kent Blackstone doubled in the top of the ninth inning. The Blue Crabs weren’t necessarily on the edge of their seats to break the no-hitter, as they were shutting out New Britain into the ninth as well. The first and only run in the contest came in the top of the 11th, and despite accumulating just two hits in the game, an RBI bunt single with two outs from the Blue Crabs pinch-hitting catcher Charlie Valerio sealed on a 1-0 victory.
Following a game with 26 combined hits and 17 combined runs that was decided in 12 innings, this afternoon’s contest allotted seven hits and not a single run through ten innings.
Dusten Knight got the start for the Blue Crabs and was magnificent. Fresh off a career-high eight-plus inning allowing just one run his last time out, he tossed seven shutout frames today, allowing just five hits while striking out eight. At a point, he retired ten straight Bees, but after allowing a hit in the seventh he turned it over to the bullpen for the eighth and beyond after hucking 108 pitches on the outing.
As good as Knight was, Rainy Lara was the story of the game. The Bees’ starter took a no-hitter into the ninth until Blackstone spoiled the no-hit bid. Lara was pulled after eight and one-third innings, exiting with just one hit allowed while striking out nine Blue Crabs.
Adam Choplick and Kevin Munson shut it down in the eighth and ninth, and for the second night in a row and just the fourth time this season Southern Maryland headed to extra innings.
In the top of the eleventh inning, the Blue Crabs sent back-to-back-to-back pinch hitters up to the plate. Tony Thomas started the inning on second base, and after Travis Witherspoon struck out to lead off the inning, Thomas stole third base. With two outs, Charlie Valerio, the Blue Crabs catcher bunted down the third baseline, Thomas came in to score and Valerio beat out the throw for a bunt single.
A bunt was just the second hit the Blue Crabs had in 11 innings, but thanks to top-notch pitching it got the job done to bring home a 1-0 nail-biting victory.
The Blue Crabs will return home tomorrow, Monday, August 12th for the series opener of a four-game set with the Sugar Land Skeeters, and a 6:35 p.m first pitch.
Catch all Blue Crabs home games on the Blue Crabs Broadcast Network, live-streamed on YouTube (@SOMDBlueCrabs) Facebook (@SOMDBlueCrabs) and Twitter (@BlueCrabs).