CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs dropped back-to-back games for the first time this year, as they suffered a 6-4 loss to the Long Island Ducks. The Blue Crabs led twice in today’s game, but Long Island responded on both occasions.
The Blue Crabs got the offense started immediately. After Long Island’s starter, Joe Iorio (W, 2-0), recorded a pair of outs, Jared Walker blasted a solo home run to right field, giving the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead.
Eddie Butler (L, 2-1) started the game for Southern Maryland but struggled in the first inning. The Long Island Ducks picked up four consecutive hits to begin the game. Johnni Turbo, Dustin Woodcock, and Rusney Castillo all scored, giving Long Island a 3-1 advantage.
In the third inning, Southern Maryland added a run. After Braxton Lee singled with two outs, Raul Shah hit a perfectly-placed popup down the right-field line. The second baseman, Vladimir Frias, attempted to make a basket catch, but it fell out of his glove, allowing Braxton Lee to score all the way from first base, and giving Raul Shah a double.
In the fifth inning, the Blue Crabs bats came through again. Joe DeLuca and Ryan Haug led off the inning with a single. Michael Baca laid a sacrifice bunt down the third baseline, advancing Haug and DeLuca to second and third respectively. Braxton Lee then hit a fly ball to left field, scoring DeLuca and tying the score at 3-3. The next batter, Raul Shah, bounced a single up the middle, scoring Haug from second and giving the Blue Crabs a 4-3 lead.
Southern Maryland’s lead would be short-lived. In the fifth inning, Dustin Woodcock singled and stole second base, before Eddie Butler recorded two outs. Michael Wielansky then drove in Woodcock on a single up the middle, tying the score at 4-4. The next batter, Alejandro de Aza, blasted a two-run shot down the line in right field, giving Long Island a 6-4 lead.
Both teams settled in from there. Eddie Butler remained in the game for seven innings, allowing six earned runs and 11 hits. Southern Maryland turned to Dalton Geekie in the eighth, who kept the Ducks off the board.
The Blue Crabs briefly rallied in the seventh but could never find the runs to tie the game. Sandy Baez (S, 4) earned the save for the Ducks as he sent the Blue Crabs down in order.
With the loss, Southern Maryland falls to 22-6 on the season, and still holds an 8.5-game lead in the North Division over the second-place Long Island Ducks.
The Blue Crabs return to Fairfield Properties Ballpark tomorrow at 6:35 pm for game two of a three-game set.