TODAY’S BALLGAME: The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs take on the Somerset Patriots in game FOUR of a best of five series to decide the champion of the Atlantic League.  Because of rain, game four has been pushed back to tonight, with game five to be played tomorrow evening if necessary.  After their victory last night, Somerset has taken a 2-1 lead, and will be looking for their sixth Atlantic League Championship with a victory tonight.  LHP Roy Merritt will start on the hill for Somerset.  Merritt in two starts in the postseason has registered a 0.60 ERA.  RHP Tim Sexton will take the ball on the mound for the Blue Crabs after picking up the clinching victory in game four against Lancaster in the Freedom Division Series.

GAME ONE:  Southern Maryland picked up the 7-3 victory last night in game one of the Atlantic League Championship Series. RHP Daryl Thompson produced a 139 pitch outing, going 7.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out eight Patriots hitters to pick up the victory.  Southern Maryland took the lead first in the top of the fourth with an RBI single from Casey Frawley.  Somerset took the lead in the bottom of the frame on a two run homerun from David Vidal over the wall in right.  The Blue Crabs reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs, highlighted by Fred Lewis’ three run shot over the wall in right.  Zach Wilson homered in the top of the ninth to give Southern Maryland two insurance runs.

GAME TWO:  Somerset defeated Southern Maryland by the final of 7-2 in game two of the Atlantic League Championship Series.  RHP William Oliver pitched a beautiful game for Somerset, going seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out eight.  Southern Maryland took an early lead in the top of the second on a Jovan Rosa homerun to make it 1-0.  In the bottom of the fourth, Somerset scored three runs capped off by a Greg Hopkins two run single.  In the bottom of the fifth, the Patriots scored four runs on a David Vidal two run single, and a pair of fielder’s choices.  Southern Maryland added one more run in the top of the sixth, but fell well short in total.

GAME THREE:  Somerset defeated Southern Maryland 7-3 to take a 2-1 Atlantic League Championship Series lead.  The Patriots took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Matt Fields ripped a two run homerun over the wall in left.  In the top of the third, Fields came up again with a runner on a lifted a homerun over the wall in right to make it 4-0 Somerset.  Adam Donachie lashed an RBI single in the top of the fourth to make it 5-0.  Aaron Eggleston led things off in the top of the fifth and ripped a homerun to right to bring the score to 6-0 Somerset. The Patriots added one more insurance run in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch.  LHP Matt Zielinski picked up the victory on the mound for Somerset, going 6.1 innings, allowing three runs, on five hits, striking out six, and at one point retiring 11 straight hitters.  Southern Maryland added three runs in the top of the seventh on Keith Castillo’s three run shot.

PLAYOFF LEADERS:  Southern Maryland checks into the game the leader among all playoff teams in batting average (.245), and ERA (2.95).  The Blue Crabs also have the most hits (57), doubles (10), slugging (.386), and OPS (.700).  On the pitching side, Southern Maryland staff collectively also leads the way with 58 strikeouts, and has registered the lowest opponents’ batting average at .202.

BOMBS AWAY:  Keith Castillo knocked a three run homerun over the wall in left in game three of the Championship Series. Southern Maryland has now homered in five straight playoff games, and is second behind Somerset among playoff teams with seven homeruns overall as a team.