(Waldorf, MD, July 6, 2021) For the first time ever, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs hosted the Gastonia Honey Hunters on Tuesday night. Southern Maryland’s switch-hitting catcher, Joe DeLuca fueled a five-run third inning, making way for a 7-3 series-opening victory.

After allowing runs in each of the first two innings, Southern Maryland’s starter, Kolton Mahoney (W, 2-1) settled into a groove on his way to a quality start. The right-handed Utah native pitched six innings while allowing just three runs on four hits.

With two outs and no runners on in the bottom of the second, DeLuca drew a seven-pitch walk, and after being traded to SOMD earlier in the day, Miles Williams laced a base hit to put runners on second and third. Jake Luce broke the scoring seal for Southern Maryland in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI single, but Williams was thrown out at home on a laser throw from Gastonia left-fielder, Joshua Sale.

The Blue Crabs broke the game open in the third inning, beginning with a Dario Pizzano RBI ground-rule double. After David Harris and Josh McAdams each drove in a run, DeLuca hammered a two-run homer to put the Blue Crabs on top 6-2. To cap off a fantastic series opener, DeLuca doubled in the late innings and caught a runner attempting to steal second base from his knees in the fifth.

Southern Maryland’s bullpen kept the Honey Hunters’ bats silent with a trio of scoreless innings, capping off a 7-3 Blue Crabs win. The victory gives SOMD’s Hometown Team a 9-2 record in series openers, and a 20-16 record on the season.

The Blue Crabs gained a half-game on the idle Long Island Ducks with the win and will put Sam Burton on the mound for Wednesday’s 6:35 PM game against the Honey Hunters.

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