WALDORF, Md. — Daryl Thompson (W, 7-2) took the mound for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to kick off the second half of the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The reigning 2019 ALPB Pitcher of the Year struck out six batters and gave up zero runs en route to a 4-3 victory over the Long Island Ducks.
The Atlantic League became the first professional league to move the pitching rubber back since 1893 on Wednesday night, extending to 61 feet, 6 inches. Nonetheless, it was defense that dominated the contest. Southern Maryland got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Alex Crosby scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Joe DeLuca. Just two batters later, Cesar Trejo laced a 2-RBI triple down the right-field line to extend the lead to 3-0.
Michael Baca reached on an error to lead-off the bottom of the fifth inning. Baca advanced to second on a groundout, advanced to third on a balk, and then went on to score on a wild pitch. The Blue Crabs’ lead was now 4-0 heading into the sixth inning.
Long Island, the newly crowned ALPB North First Half Champions, refused to go down without a fight. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the ninth inning, Johnni Turbo grounded out to Josh McAdams, scoring Hector Sanchez for Long Island’s first run of the game. Following the groundout, Vladimir Frias laced a 2-RBI single to centerfield to bring the Ducks within one run.
Mat Latos locked in on the mound and shut the door on the Ducks as they left the tying run on third base, dropping game one of the second half to the Blue Crabs by a score of 4-3.
The third and final game of this three-game series will be played at 11:05 AM on Thursday. The Blue Crabs will play two road series following Thursday’s game. They take on the Lancaster Barnstormers and the Long Island Ducks on the road before returning to Southern Maryland to play 12 home games in 14 days here in Waldorf.