(Gastonia, NC, June 29, 2021)The Atlantic League strikeout leader, Mike Devine (W, 4-2), started on the mound for the Blue Crabs in Gastonia following a home series seep against the York Revolution. The right-hander tossed six and two-thirds innings and struck out five batters in route to an 11-7 series opening win.
Southern Maryland came out firing as the Blue Crabs put up four runs in the top of the first inning. Josh McAdams singled and scored Zach Collier to start things off, followed by back-to-back doubles by Alex Crosby and Joe DeLuca.
The top of the second inning picked up where the Blue Crabs left off. Zach Collier brought home Michael Baca on a sacrifice fly to deep right field, increasing the Blue Crabs lead to 5-0.
The Honey Hunters would not go down lightly. Josh Sale led things off with a towering solo homerun to put Gastonia on the board in the bottom of the second.
The first pitch of the top of the third inning was sent over the wall in right field by Alex Crosby to put the Blue Crabs up 6-1. After a bases-loaded walk brought in Jake Luce, Zach Collier smacked a 2-RBI double to right field. The Blue Crabs lead grew to 9-1 after three and a half innings.
Gastonia clawed away at the Blue Crab lead with a few runs of their own coming in the bottom of the third, fifth and seventh innings. Southern Maryland’s lead was diminished to four runs as they held a 9-5 lead heading into the eighth inning.
The hot bat of Alex Crosby stayed hot as the first baseman singled to center to score Josh McAdams in the top of the eighth. Greyfer Eregua, in his third professional at-bat, scored Crosby on an RBI single to left. The Blue Crabs had a healthy 11-5 lead for the closer Mat Latos to come in and close the door.
The Gastonia shortstop Michael Osinski hammered a two-run homerun to bring the Honey Hunters within four runs once again. Gastonia’s efforts were too little and too late as the Blue Crabs held on to secure the series opening win in Gastonia.
Southern Maryland stays on the road for the next six days. The Blue Crabs play two more games in Gastonia before heading to Long Island, New York to take on the Ducks in a four-game series.