(9/23/2022, Waldorf, MD) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs got off to an early lead on Friday, holding off the Lancaster Barnstormers late in game three of the North Division Championship Series. 

Southern Maryland started the scoring in the second inning off of Nile Ball (L, 0-1).  After a pair of walks, Michael Baca rolled a ground ball to third, scoring Jared Walker from third to give the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead. 

Michael Wielansky led off the inning in the second inning with a walk before Zach Collier launched a two-run home run over the wall in the right, giving the Blue Crabs a 3-0 edge.  In the fourth inning, Alex Crosby crushed a solo homer over the wall in the right, extending the lead to 4-0. 

In the sixth inning, with runners on the corners, Jack Sundberg bounced a single up the middle, giving the Blue Crabs a 5-0 lead.  From there, Michael Wielansky drove a single back to center field, scoring Michael Baca to give the Blue Crabs a 6-0 advantage.  With the bases loaded, Southern Maryland added an insurance run when David Harris drove in a run on a bases-loaded walk, extending the lead to 7-0. 

Alex Merithew pitched seven terrific innings tonight.  Merithew was charged with three runs, though two crossed after he exited the game.  Merithew did not allow a hit across the first five innings and pitched the first six as shutout innings. 

Lancaster scored one run in the seventh and added two more in the eighth to cut the deficit to 7-3.  James Dykstra entered the game in the top of the ninth with a four-run lead.  After recording the first two outs, Dykstra surrendered three consecutive hits. Endrys Briceno (Sv, 2) entered the game with the tying run at the plate.  Briceno recorded the final out on a terrific play by Michael Wielansky to secure the 7-3 win. 

The Blue Crabs can clinch a spot in the Atlantic League Championship Series with a win tomorrow night against the Lancaster Barnstormers. Tomorrow’s game gets underway at 6:35 pm. 

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