LEXINGTON, Ky. — After the Kentucky Wild Health Genomes snapped the Blue Crabs 12-game winning streak on Saturday night, Southern Maryland rebounded on Sunday, defeating the Genomes 9-7. The Crabs poured on the runs early in the matinee, and staved off the comeback hungry Genomes in the latter stages of the contest, picking up the series win.
By the time Daryl Thompson (W, 1-1) took the mound for the Crabs in the bottom of the first inning, Southern Maryland held a 4-0 lead. Kickstarting the offense, Rubi Silva poked his first of four singles in the game before Jared Walker roped a line drive to right field, scoring Silva. Alex Crosby kept the runs coming, lining a base hit to left field, allowing Walker to score. With two outs and a 2-0 lead, Austin Rei blooped a single into right field, scoring a pair to give the Crabs a 4-0 lead.
Thompson was sharp from the first pitch on a sunny afternoon, and after allowing a two-out solo homer from Moises Sierra, the back-to-back Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year found a groove.
After Southern Maryland added an insurance run in the fifth on a David Harris double, the Genomes’ offense came alive, when Luke Becker narrowed the scoring margin with a two-run blast. The Crabs, however, responded in the following frame, plating four runs. Austin Rei came through again with his third and fourth RBIs of the game, before Michael Baca and Matt Hibbert followed with an RBI a piece, giving the Blue Crabs a healthy 9-3 advantage heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Genomes kept fighting against Daryl Thompson, who needed just 45 pitches in the game’s first five innings. After allowing one run in the sixth, Thompson came back out for the seventh. After getting two quick outs, Wild Health rallied with a pair of singles, knocking Thompson out of the game. Bradley Roney relieved Thompson in the seventh, allowing a three-run Riley Mahan homer, trimming the Blue Crabs lead to 9-7.
The game suddenly intensified, as both teams looked to secure a series win. Stan Cliburn turned to his top options out of his bullpen, for the eighth and ninth innings. Endrys Briceno fanned a pair in a scoreless eighth inning to continue a marvelous season, the Venezuela native has struck out 17 batters in his first eight innings of work this season. Mat Latos (S, 6) blanked the Genomes in the ninth, securing a 9-7 victory.
With Sunday’s series win, the Crabs have won each of their first five series of the year, outscoring opponents on the season 114-61. Southern Maryland holds the best record in the Atlantic League in 2022 at a 13-2 clip, and will host the Gastonia Honey Hunters for three game set beginning on Tuesday. The Honey Hunters hold the second best record in the league at 12-2, setting up a bash of the best.