LANCASTER, Pa. – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs scored nine runs in the middle innings and managed to stave off the Lancaster Barnstormers’ late comeback.
The Barnstormers started the scoring in the first inning. McKenzie Mills (W, 5-1) retired LeDarious Clark but ran into trouble with the next two batters. Andretty Cordero launched a solo shot over the wall in right-center field, giving the Barnstormers a 1-0 lead. On the next pitch, Kelly Dugan blasted a homer over the wall in right field, giving the Barnstormers a 2-0 lead.
The Blue Crabs got to Cameron Gann (L, 3-3) in the fourth. Zach Collier walked to start the inning, and Michael Wielansky followed up with a base hit. Braxton Lee then walked to load the bases. The next batter, Joe Deluca, grounded out to shortstop, scoring Collier to cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the fifth inning, the Blue Crabs broke out. Michael Baca singled before Jack Sundberg walked. The next batter, Ian Yetsko ripped a triple to left-center, scoring Sundberg and Baca to give the Blue Crabs a 3-2 lead. Zach Collier then shot a single into right, scoring Yetsko and giving the Blue Crabs a 4-2 lead. Later in the inning, with Collier on second, Alex Crosby ripped a hit into center field, scoring Collier to give the Blue Crabs a 5-2 lead.
Ryan Haug reached on a hit-by-pitch to start the sixth. Michael Baca then ripped a double to center field, putting runners on second and third. Jack Sundberg then hit a sacrifice fly, driving in Haug to give the Blue Crabs a 6-2 lead. The next batter, Ian Yetsko, shot a two-run homer over the wall in right-center field, putting the Blue Crabs ahead 8-2.
Braxton Lee led off the seventh with a double and advanced to third with a wild pitch. Joe Deluca drove him in on a sacrifice fly to center field, giving Southern Maryland a 9-2 edge.
McKenzie Mills dominated after allowing a pair of home runs in the first. Mills pitched seven innings, allowing just one hit after the first inning. The bullpen ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth.
LeDarious Clark led off the eighth with a double that two-hopped the left-field wall. Andretty Cordero followed him up with a single to left field, advancing Clark to third. Kelly Dugan drove in Clark with a sacrifice fly, cutting the deficit to 9-3. The Barnstormers added two more doubles in the inning, slicing the Blue Crabs’ lead to 9-5.
In the ninth inning, the Barnstormers kept hitting. After Bradley Roney recorded the first out, he walked LeDarious Clark, who reached second on defensive indifference. Andretty Cordero then bounced a single to center field, scoring Clark. Mat Latos (Sv, 13) then entered the game. The next batter, Kelly Dugan, blasted a two-run shot over the wall in right, cutting the deficit to 9-8. Latos settled in from there by striking out Colton Shaver and inducing a groundout to Trayvon Robinson to secure the 9-8 victory.
Southern Maryland has won three consecutive games and six of their last seven contests. The Blue Crabs also clinched the series win with today’s victory, and now lead the North Division by 10.5 games. Southern Maryland will return to Lancaster tomorrow at 1 pm to take on the Barnstormers in the final game of the series.