(Waldorf, MD, July 11th, 2021)The Blue Crabs capped off a three-game series with the West Virginia Power on a winning note, stealing a 2-1 ballgame. Kolton Mahoney (W 3-1) stepped on the mound for Southern Maryland and threw a gem, tossing eight one-run innings en route to a series win.
Mahoney saw some early struggles as he walked the first two batters to start the top of the third inning. Following a Joe Quinones bunt single that loaded the bases, Scott Kelly hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Dominic Bethancourt scored on the sacrifice and gave the Power a 1-0 lead. The Blue Crabs’ defense had the right-handers back, turning four double-play balls for the second time in a week.
The Blue Crabs started off the bottom of the third inning with Michael Baca reaching base on a Bethancourt error at shortstop. Baca stole second and a wild throw from Alfonso Reda behind the plate moved the speedster to third with no outs. Following a Kent Blackstone walk, Dario Pizzano grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Baca in the process to tie the game 1-1.
The bats for both teams were practically silent throughout the remainder of the game, until the bottom of the eighth inning. Baca led the eighth off with a single, and after Kent Blackstone was robbed of what could’ve been an extra-base hit, Dario Pizzano singled up the middle to put runners on first and second with only one out. David Harris followed with what looked to be an inning-ending double-play ball, but a head first dive into first base kicked up enough dirt to force an error, allowing Baca to score the go-ahead run.
With Southern Maryland leading in the top of the ninth, the table was set for the Blue Crabs closer, Mat Latos (S, 8). Latos faced three batters in the top of the ninth, striking out the final two to secure the series win for the Blue Crabs by a score of 2-1.
The series win keeps Southern Maryland’s Hometown Team’s streak alive, they haven’t lost a series in nearly one month. The win coupled with a Long Island Ducks loss gives the Blue Crabs sole possession of first place in the Atlantic League North Division. The Blue Crabs hit the road for a pivotal six-game roadtrip before returning to Waldorf on July 20th.