Stem goes distance on mound, but Crabs come up short

Blue Crabs Drop Game Two Against Long Island

Waldorf, MD. – On a new night, a similar story was told as pitching once again dominated in a 2-1 Blue Crabs loss to the Long Island Ducks. For the second night in a row the Blue Crabs starting pitcher went the distance as Craig Stem (L, 2-1) went nine innings deep, yet was handed the loss.

Stem was masterful all night long, and really picked it up after the first two innings, in which he allowed three of seven Ducks hits on the evening, but escaped the early going scoreless. Southern Maryland, however, did get the scoring started in the early going, and it started when Charlie Valerio kickstarted a two-out rally in the bottom of the second inning. A double to right field put the catcher in scoring position, and Tony Thomas did the rest. Thomas came through with his third RBI on the series as he sent a frozen rope line drive to left field to plate Valerio, giving the good guys a 1-0 after two innings.

The middle innings of this low scoring affair can be described in two words: a pitcher’s duel. Stem and the Ducks’ starting pitcher Darin Downs (ND, 0-0) traded scoreless innings as the game progressed, and we headed into the bottom of the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead.

Long Island got their bats going when Daniel Fields blasted a solo home run to center field to tie the ballgame at 1-1 heading into the latter stages of the game, and the Ducks kept their late inning scoring going in the top of the ninth. It began with a Kirk Nieuwenhuis double to right field. He was bunted over to third one batter later before the go ahead run finally crossed, as Matt den Dekker singled to left field to put the Ducks in command 2-1.

The Blue Crabs last half-inning started off on the right note, as Frank Martinez blasted a line drive to the left field wall, putting a runner in scoring position with no outs in the final frame. But, the Blue Crabs were unable to pull off the comeback as they did in the series opener on night ago as they would strand the tying run at second base, dropping game two by a score of 2-1.

The Blue Crabs play again tomorrow, May 15th, against the Ducks at Regency Furniture Stadium, first pitch at 10:35 AM. 

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