(Waldorf, MD, June 15, 2021)Southern Maryland began a nine-game road trip with a victory on Tuesday night against the Gastonia Honey Hunters. The Blue Crabs came out on top in their first matchup against the Atlantic League’s newest team, 5-3.
Signed by the team earlier today, Blue Crabs outfielder Matt Hibbert hit in the leadoff spot this evening. Hibbert began tonight’s contest with a walk and later scored on a Dario Pizzano sacrifice fly. Zach Collier brought in another run in the first, giving Southern Maryland’s starter Sam Burton a two-run cushion.
After the Honey Hunters dented the Blue Crabs lead in the third, Joe DeLuca got the run back with another sacrifice fly in the fourth. Gastonia retaliated with a pair in the following frame when Boog Powell knocked in a run, and Southern Maryland walked a run home, tying the score at 3-3.
Both bullpens were stellar down the stretch, but the Blue Crabs cracked through with late inning magic in the ninth. With runners on first and second and one out, DeLuca hit smoked a RBI ground-rule double off of a former major leaguer for the Baltimore Orioles, Donnie Hart. Michael Baca kept it going with his first RBI of the season, putting the Blue Crabs on top 5-3. Southern Maryland’s MLB veteran reliever, Mat Latos, (S, 3) had no problem coming in and shutting the door on the Honey Hunters, securing the series opening win.