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Mercado Has Walk-Off For Blue Crabs
Waldorf, MD - 8/28/2012
By Brian Radie
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (26-18, 56-58) pulled out another resilient, walk off win in the tenth inning against the York Revolution (24-19, 60-53) Monday night. It’s the type of hard fought win and savvy managing decisions by Patrick Osborn that is making this Blue Crabs team a serious playoff contender. The score had been 3-1 in favor of York from the 5th inning until the ninth inning. And when it mattered most, the Blue Crabs prevailed, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. They then stole the win from York in the bottom of the tenth.
In the ninth inning, York manager turned to closer Ricardo Gomez who has had control issues in his time in the Atlantic League, but had been effective of late. Gomez displayed some of his wildness though as he walked Kevin Rios to lead off the inning. And as they say in baseball…”lead off walks always come back to hurt you”. Enter Jesse Gutierrez, who is swinging a hot bat and hit three home runs the previous series against Camden. On a three –two count, Gutierrez blasted a 2 run homer onto the left field picnic pavilion to tie the game.
The game almost slipped away from the Blue Crabs in the tenth though as Chris Mobley got himself in a jam. With men on first and third with one out, Mobley intentionally walked Jeff Fiorentino to load the bases for easier force outs. The gamble paid off as Chris Nowak grounded into a double play to save the Blue Crabs and end the inning.
Then it was back to drama in the bottom half of the inning. Christian Lopez got things going with a single. Patrick Osborn then advanced Lopez to third with a single. Mike Daniel was then intentionally walked to load the bases. This time York manager Andy Etchebarren’s gamble didn’t pay off as Osborn counted with pinch hitting Richard Mercado for Kevin Rios. And with the at-bat, Mercado smoked a pitch right down the first base line, past the reach of first baseman Chris Nowak to bring in Lopez for the game winning run.
Chris Mobley improved to 5-2 on the year by picking up the win for the Blue Crabs. He struck out none, walked 1 and gave up 1 hit.
For York, Kris Regas (1-2) was charged with the loss. In 1/3 of an inning pitched, he allowed one run on 3 hits.
Game two of the three game series is scheduled for Tuesday. First pitch is at 7:05 pm from Regency FurnitureStadium. Tickets are available online at www.somdbluecrabs.com.
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