(Central Islip, NY, July 28th, 2021)Despite climbing back from a 4-11 start to the 2021 season, the Blue Crabs will not claim the ALPB North Division First Half title. A Ducks 8-2 victory on Wednesday evening clinched Long Island’s sixth straight playoff birth.
The Ducks scored a quartet of runs in the first inning to jump out to a commanding lead against Southern Maryland’s starter, Kolton Mahoney (L, 4-3). Deibinson Romero did most of the damage, hammering a three-run homer over the left-field wall before Jesse Berardi brought home another run.
The Blue Crabs bats couldn’t click on Wednesday evening at Fairfield Properties Ballpark, plating just two runs in the contest. Alex Crosby, however, was clicking on all cylinders. The corner infielder knocked in both of the Blue Crabs runs in the game, and accounted for three of the team’s seven hits. Crosby, a member of Great Britain’s national team, homered in the second inning before singling a run home in the fourth.
The Ducks’ Brandon Feldmann (W, 4-1) was otherwise dominant against his division rivals, tossing a complete game while allowing just a pair of runs, despite fanning just two batters.
While Wednesday’s loss means the Blue Crabs won’t get a playoff birth in the first half, it doesn’t at all kill their playoff hopes. Due to the way in which the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball’s playoffs is structured, Southern Maryland still has a multitude of avenues to reach the playoffs.
The ALPB’s postseason abides by the following format: The 2021 ALPB Championship Season is split into two halves. The league is split in to two divisions, the Atlantic League North Division, and Atlantic League South Division. The season is split into two halves, each of which is 60 games long. The winner of each division in each half receives an automatic bid to the playoffs.
Each team’s second-half record is completely autonomous from the first half, meaning that the Blue Crabs will have a clean slate in the second half, and every team will have an equal opportunity to earn a playoff bid via the ALPB North Division Second Half title. In the event that the same team wins both halves, that playoff spot will open up to the team with the best record in the full 2021 season, regardless of division.
While the Blue Crabs will have to wait to earn their first playoff bid since 2017, SOMD’s Hometown Team’s 23-16 record since their difficult start to the season gives the squad high hopes. As recently as July 11th, the Blue Crabs held a one-game lead in the division, but an unprecedented Ducks winning streak flipped the script.