CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ bats produced nine runs on 11 hits in the first three innings against the Long Island Ducks. McKenzie Mills (W, 3-1), meanwhile, pitched five strong innings, allowing just two earned runs.
The Blue Crabs’ bats got started immediately, as the first four batters reached base. After Jack Sundberg walked and Raul Shah singled, Jared Walker ripped a line drive down the right-field line, scoring Sundberg, and placing runners on second and third.
David Harris then hit a liner that deflected off of Akeel Morris (L, 0-3), scoring Shah. Jared Walker also came around and scored later in the inning, giving the Blue Crabs a 3-0 lead.
In the second, the Blue Crabs struck again. With two runners on and one out, Jack Sundberg pulled a double down the right-field line, scoring Joe DeLuca and Michael Baca and giving the Blue Crabs a 5-0 lead. Raul Shah then poked a base hit into center field, scoring a run and giving the Blue Crabs a 6-0 lead.
The Ducks cut the deficit to 6-1 after a home run from Deibinson Romero. In the third inning, with runners on first and second, Joe Deluca ripped a line drive into center field, scoring Zach Collier.
Raul Shah then bounced a single up the middle, scoring Braxton Lee, to give the Blue Crabs an 8-1 lead. The Blue Crabs added another run when David Harris walked, forcing Joe DeLuca in from third and giving the Blue Crabs a 9-1 lead.
In the fifth inning, the Ducks rallied, scoring three runs and cutting the deficit to 9-4. In the seventh inning, Long Island continued to hit. With runners on first and third and two outs, Dustin Woodcock singled on a ground ball to first, scoring Michael Wielansky, and cutting the Blue Crabs’ advantage to 9-5.
The Blue crabs quickly responded in the top of the eighth. Jared Walked led off the inning by smashing a home run to right field, putting the Blue Crabs ahead 10-5. Later in the eighth, Alex Crosby launched a double to the wall in center field. Zach Collier then singled in Crosby, giving the Blue Crabs an 11-5 lead.
The Ducks got two runs back in the eighth on a two-run home run from Vladimir Frias, but Nick Wells closed the door in the ninth for an 11-7 victory.
With the win, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs improve to 23-6 and hold a 9.5-game lead in the North Division. The Blue Crabs look to win the series tomorrow, as they take on the Long Island Ducks for game three.