(Gastonia, NC, July 1, 2021) Finally coming down from a season-high six-game win streak, the Blue Crabs missed out on a series sweep against the Gastonia Honey Hunters on Thursday evening. The Honey Hunters jumped out to an early lead with a first-inning Grand Slam and never looked back, securing a 9-4 victory.
After the Blue Crabs’ Kent Blackstone pummeled a solo shot in the first inning, the Honey Hunters responded with five runs in the bottom of the first. Gastonia’s shortstop, Michael Osinski headlined the barrage of runs with a Grand Slam.
As the Honey Hunters plated another trio of runs by the fourth inning, Southern Maryland’s bats heated up too. Southern Maryland out-hit the Honey Hunters 15-9 on Thursday night including a 4-5 evening from Alex Crosby, but the squad couldn’t drive runners in when it counted. The Blue Crabs stranded 14 runners on base in the series finale, the fifth most in a game by any Atlantic League team in 2021.
Gastonia’s early lead and Southern Maryland’s ill-timed offense allowed the Honey Hunters to dodge a six-game season sweep at home against Southern Maryland. The Honey Hunters’ 9-4 win, coupled with a Long Island Ducks victory tightened the pack in the Atlantic League North Division. Heading to Long Island to begin a four-game set, the Blue Crabs lead the Ducks in the standings by just 0.5 games. Having climbed the mountain to turn around their season against all odds, the Blue Crabs now play their four most crucial games yet in a holiday weekend series.