News Release, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs; IMages courtesy of Memories Photography/Bert Hindman
Waldorf, MD – Southern Maryland came into a series opener with the High Point Rockers seeking to continue an incredible stretch of baseball. The Blue Crabs plated a pair early, but High Point would come out on top with a 6-4 victory.
Southern Maryland sent a right-hander, Kyle Simon to the mound, and he was on the mark in the first inning. He did a great job defending his home field, taking just seven pitches to get through the first frame.
The good guys saw their chance and struck immediately in the bottom of the first inning. With the Rockers right-hander, Dominic DeMasi on the hill, Kent Blackstone led things off with a walk, and then came Edwin Garcia. The shortstop saw a pitch over the heart of the plate and put a charge into it. For the first time since the 2018 season, he hit a home run at Regency Furniture Stadium, and it paid dividends as Southern Maryland jumped out to a healthy 2-0 lead.
The Rockers got one back in the top of the third inning. Tyler Ladendorf recorded his second hit of the contest on a hot-shot line drive off of the left-field mini monster, plating Stephen Cardullo in the process as the Rockers cut the Southern Maryland lead in half.
High Point ignited their offense in the top of the third inning, and their third baseman, Michael Russell sent a blast out of Regency Furniture Stadium, bringing home Matthew Jones with him to hand the Rockers their first lead of the contest at a score of 3-2.
Rubi Silva, the Blue Crabs right fielder made a pair of beautiful defensive plays in the contest, including throwing out of a Rocker trying to score, and Silva came through again later in the contest with a monstrous two-run home run to give Southern Maryland the lead back at 4-3.
A couple of scoreless innings gave way to the second Blue Crabs reliever entering the contest. James Dykstra came in and allowed a first-pitch home run to the powerful Quincy Latimore to tie the score at 4-4. In the meantime, Chase Huchingson (W, 5-1) entered the game on the mound for the Rockers and pitched a terrific eighth inning to keep the game tied.
The score held at 4-4 heading into the top of the ninth inning. Mat Latos (L, 2-4) came in riding an incredible streak in which he had allowed just two hits, one walk, and not a single run in 19 innings pitched, but even the best struggle every once in a while. Jones reached on a dropped third strike with one out, and Stephen Cardullo followed with a two-run home run to put High Point ahead by a score of 6-4.
Ryan Kelly (S, 3) came into to close the door in the bottom of the ninth, and the Rockers exited a game that was decided by the home run ball, featuring five homers, by a score of 6-4.
The Blue Crabs will return home tomorrow, Tuesday, July 23rd, for game two of a three-game set with the High Point Rockers, and a 6:35 p.m first pitch.
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