News Release, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
High Point, NC – After splitting the first two games of a four-game set, the Blue Crabs were in control in the latter stages of a morning contest with the High Point Rockers. Despite holding a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Blue Crabs allowed a run in each of the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings to fall in a 6-5 Rockers victory.
The battle’s first score occurred in the bottom of the first off of the Blue Crabs’ left-hander Tommy Thorpe, as Stephen Cardullo homered to lead off the frame.
The Blue Crabs responded with a two-spot in the very next half-inning. Mike Falsetti kicked it off with a line shot single to left field to score Tony Thomas. In just his second start of the season, the Blue Crabs newly acquired right fielder Travis Witherspoon kept the scoring going with a double to bring home Falsetti, putting the Blue Crabs up 2-1. High Point added a pair of their own in the bottom of the second to put them back ahead in a topsy turvy affair.
Following a Dean Green double that evened the game at 3-3 in the top of the fifth, Southern Maryland found some breathing room in the eighth. Charlie Valerio came into pinch hit and pounded a single that scored a pair, opening the scoring margin to 5-3 Blue Crabs.
High Point plated one run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Blue Crabs were still ahead as the match turned its final corner. In the bottom of the ninth, Mat Latos came on to pitch. He hit the first batter that he faced, but responded with back-to-back outs, while the tying run still lurked on third. A wild pitch brought home the Rockers’ equalizing run, and for just the second time this season, the Blue Crabs headed to extras.
As a part of the MLB/Atlantic League rule changes, a runner began each extra inning on second base. After the good guys were unable to bring around their runner against Dusty Isaacs (W, 1-2), Kevin Munson (L, 1-3) took the mound for Southern Maryland. With the bases loaded and one out, the infield came in on the grass. Michael Russell chopped a groundball to the Blue Crabs shortstop Edwin Garcia who immediately fired home to cut off the winning run, but the throw home was dropped by a 2019 All-Star, and one of the best all-around catchers in the Atlantic League, Charlie Valerio.
The Blue Crabs bullpen allowed a run in the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings today but that is a rarity. In over 50 innings pitched in the second half of the season, the bullpen combined for a 1.61 ERA coming into Wednesday’s contest.
High Point took home the 6-5 victory, but the Blue Crabs have a chance to even things up tomorrow in a series finale.
The Blue Crabs will return home on Friday, August 2nd for the series opener of a three-game set with the Somerset Patriots, featuring a Pinch magnet giveaway on Pinch’s Birthday Celebration at Regency Furniture Stadium, and a 6:35 p.m first pitch.
Catch all Blue Crabs home games on the Blue Crabs Broadcast Network, live-streamed on YouTube (@SOMDBlueCrabs) Facebook (@SOMDBlueCrabs) and Twitter (@BlueCrabs).