News Release, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Fresh off the Blue Crabs best week of the season, a homestand in which Southern Maryland went 5-3 in the span of seven days that marked consecutive series wins, they hit the road to take on the Somerset Patriots for the series opener of a three-game set.
The good guys’ hot streak continued, but it didn’t result in a win as they rode the arm of Craig Stem (L, 4-3) but the bats didn’t follow in a 3-1 finish.There was no question coming in that the Blue Crabs starter Craig Stem would give the Patriots his best. The right-hander came into Friday night’s game top three in the Atlantic League in twelve different statistical categories and further proved his case as an early ALPB Pitcher of the Year candidate with yet another terrific outing.
The Patriots would however get an early run off of the arm of Stem in the bottom of the second inning of play. Scott Kelly came through to break the scoring threshold on an RBI single to left field to bring home Michael Crouse, putting Somerset on top by a score of 1-0.
Somerset had Liam O’Sullivan (W, 3-3) on the mound to take on the Blue Crabs, and the first Southern Maryland run to score came when Charlie Valerio, arguably the man with the hottest bat in Atlantic League right now, brought home Rubi Silva on a fielder’s choice to knot up the scoring through four innings.
In his first year as a full-time starter and his ninth season of professional baseball, Stem continued to blow the doors off of Atlantic League foes. The Tennessee native continued to breeze past any expectations to be placed on a first-year starter despite allowing another pair of runs in the bottom of his seventh inning of work. Ramon Flores smacked a double to left field to break the tie that had been held for a trio of innings as Crouse and Kelly would come home to run the scoring tally to 3-1 in favor of the Patriots.
Stem’s quality start would come to an end sporting a season ERA south of 2.40, and would give way to Adam Choplick for the eighth inning. Choplick shut down the Patriots’ bats in their half of the eighth and the following inning Somerset put Mike Antonini (S, 18) on the mound. Despite the Blue Crabs putting a couple of base runners on with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Southern Maryland stranded the tying run at the plate to drop the contest by a final line of 3-1.
The Blue Crabs will return home on June 21th for the first game of six-game homestand that will begin against the High Point Rockers with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
Be sure to vote your Blue Crabs to the 2019 Atlantic League All-Star Game, just click: www.atlanticleague.com/allstarvoting