GASTONIA, N.C. – In a thrilling display of resilience, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs staged a remarkable comeback to defeat the Gastonia Honey Hunters 10-9 on Wednesday night at the Gastonia Ballpark. This victory marked the second consecutive game in which the Blue Crabs overcame a significant deficit to secure a win.
The game started off favorably for the Blue Crabs as they took an early lead in the second inning when Ryan Haug drove in a run on a fielder’s choice. However, in the third inning, the Crabs truly ignited, with Braxton Lee and K.C. Hobson hitting back-to-back home runs. Haug continued contributing to the offensive onslaught, adding another RBI, and propelling the Blue Crabs to a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Nevertheless, the Honey Hunters swiftly turned the tide in their favor. Launching an impressive display of power hitting, Gastonia blasted five home runs, with one in the third inning, two in the fourth, and two more in the fifth. Carlos Franco’s home run, which soared over the left-field wall, proved to be a turning point as the Honey Hunters capitalized on the short porch dimensions of the ballpark. With an 8-4 lead, Gastonia further solidified their advantage by scoring another run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Refusing to surrender, the Blue Crabs mounted a determined comeback effort in the top of the ninth inning. Braxton Lee, Hobson, and Alex Crosby loaded up the bases against the Honey Hunters’ closer, Jaime Schultz. Schultz’s pitch struck Isaias Quiroz, allowing a run for Southern Maryland. Ryan Haug stepped up to the plate once again, delivering two crucial RBIs to bring his total to four in the game. Michael Baca followed suit with a single into center field, giving the Blue Crabs a remarkable 9-8 lead. Jack Sundberg added an insurance run, ensuring a more comfortable margin for his team.
With the stage set for a nail-biting finish, Isaac Mattson, who had entered the game the previous inning, took the mound for the Blue Crabs. Although he conceded a run from a J.C. Escarra opposite-field home run, Mattson showcased his composure by striking out Carlos Franco, securing an incredible comeback victory for the resilient Blue Crabs.
Pitcher Daryl Thompson’s noteworthy performance added another milestone to the game. The seasoned starter reached an impressive career milestone, recording his 1000th Atlantic League strikeout. Thompson’s efforts and the team’s exceptional comeback propelled the Blue Crabs to a 24-16 record, positioning them in a tie for first place in the ALPB North division.
The two teams will face off once again tomorrow at 6:35 PM, with Sandro Cabrera set to take the mound for the Blue Crabs. Cabrera, who has recently enjoyed a three-game winning streak, will undoubtedly strive to extend his team’s success and secure a series victory against the resilient Gastonia Honey Hunters.