(Waldorf, MD, July 20, 2021) The Blue Crabs turned to Blake Bivens to start on the mound in game one of a four-game series against the visiting Gastonia Honey Hunters. In a game that featured 26 total runs, Southern Maryland battled back from a nine-run deficit to defeat Gastonia by a score of 14-12.
Bivens started strong on the mound. The righty made it through the top of the first inning unscathed but ran into some trouble in the top of the second. Gastonia plated nine runs in the top of the second inning coming from a leadoff double by Jesus Sucre, five walks from Bivens, and a three-run home run off the bat of Joshua Sale. Quickly, the Blue Crabs found themselves trailing 9-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning.
Alex Crosby and Josh McAdams both singled to start the home half of the second inning. That was followed up by a Joe DeLuca one-out walk which set the table for the last batter in the lineup, Jake Luce. With two balls and two trikes, Jake Luce hit an opposite-field grand slam down the left-field line to put the Blue Crabs on the board. Southern Maryland trailed 9-4 after two innings.
To lead off the top of the third inning, Manuel Geraldo got on base on a dropped third strike. Geraldo would eventually come around to score on a single to center off the bat of Mike Papi to extend the Gastonia lead to 10-4.
In his first game back at Regency Furniture Stadium, Rubi Silva tripled to right-center field with one out. David Harris then hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Silva from third. Southern Maryland was still down 10-5 heading into the fourth inning.
Gastonia was able to put another run on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth off of a fielding error by Michael Baca which put them up by six runs once again.
The fifth inning is where the Blue Crabs bats finally got hot. Southern Maryland plated six runs in the bottom of the fifth before giving up an out. A Kent Blackstone double, a Rubi Silva three-run home run, and RBI singles from McAdams, DeLuca, and Baca gave the Blue Crabs their first lead of the game.
From then on it was back and forth between these two teams. Gastonia was able to tie the game at eleven runs apiece in the top of the seventh inning in the form of a fielder’s choice off the bat of Manuel Geraldo.
Following a one-out single by Kent Blackstone, Rubi Silva smoked a double into deep right field. Blackstone scored to give Southern Maryland the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Silva, who advanced to third on the throw home, scored on a David Harris groundout.
Mat Latos entered the game in the top of the ninth with a two-run lead. Latos threw a perfect inning including one strikeout, securing the series-opening win for the Blue Crabs by a score of 14-12.
The Blue Crabs host Gastonia for three more games in Waldorf including a double-header on Wednesday starting at 5 pm. After that series, the High Point Rockers come into Regency Furniture Stadium for a three-game series starting on Friday, July 23rd.