CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (23-7) fell at the hands of the Long Island Ducks (14-15) on Thursday night by a score of 8-3. Early Long Island offense was too much to overcome, as the Crabs lost their first series of the season. After a 22-4 start to the 2022 campaign in which the Crabs won each of their first nine series, Southern Maryland has dropped three of their last four games. The Crabs still sit comfortably in First Place in the Atlantic League North Division, 8.5 games ahead of the second place Ducks.
Daryl Thompson (L, 3-2) took the hill for Southern Maryland, and in extremely rare form, the La Plata native struggled. Long Island picked up one run in the first inning, and they added another pair in the second. In the second, back-to-back Ducks singles and a walk juiced the bases with one out before Deven Marrero and Dustin Woodcock each roped in a run. In the third inning, Long Island added another trio, while Thompson walked a season high four batters, his most in a game since June 15, 2018. In five innings, the Prince of La Plata allowed six runs on nine hits in the loss.
Thompson, the back-to-back reigning Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year, had allowed just two runs over his last two starts, one of which was a no-hit bid that reached the eighth inning. Despite Thursday’s outlier, the right-hander has led by example, dicing opponents while serving as the team’s Pitching Coach, cruising to a 23-7 start to the season.
In the top of the fifth inning, Southern Maryland got on the scoreboard, as Austin Rei lasered a single to center field, scoring Zach Collier and Alex Crosby. Rei’s liner was one of just four hits Southern Maryland collected in Scott Harkin’s (W, 2-3) five innings of work. The Crabs jumped on Long Island’s bullpen right away, plating one run on a sacrifice fly from Alex Crosby, but the Ducks pecked back, matching Southern Maryland’s sixth inning run.
By the time the Ducks added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, Southern Maryland’s five run deficit was too much to tackle. The Ducks’ 8-3 win in the rubber match spelled the first SOMD series loss of the season, and concluded the first series of a 13 game road trip. On Friday, the Crabs crawl to Charleston, West Virginia to visit the Dirty Birds for a four-game Memorial Day weekend series.