It was go time in Southern Maryland, coming into the 41st game of the season 13.5 games back of tonight’s opponent, the Sugar Land Skeeters who sit atop the Freedom Division. The motivation to gain ground in the division in the latter portion of the first half of the season led Daryl Thompson (L, 2-5) to his 61st quality start in his last 81 starts dating back to 2015, but Thompson’s heroics weren’t enough to climb the mountain as Sugar Land would come out victorious by a score of 3-2.
It was nearly impossible to say who would pull ahead for a majority of the contest. One win shy of taking sole possession of fifth place for the most wins in Atlantic League history, Thompson was on his game. Outside of two singles allowed with two outs in the top of the first inning, the La Plata native faced nearly no friction through the better part of his ninth start of the season.
Thompson’s counterpart, the Skeeters starter Troy Scribner (W, 1-0) matched Daryl pitch for pitch. It was yet another pitcher’s duel in a Blue Crabs game, something that has become somewhat of a norm in Southern Maryland’s contests this season.
Through six innings of baseball the division rivals combined for just eight total hits with four coming from each side. Sugar Land tacked on another four hits in consecutive order to begin the top of the seventh with the third of which being a three run blast off of the bat of Jason Martinson for his seventh home run of the season. The line drive home run gave the game a 3-0 Skeeter lead heading into the seventh inning stretch.
Ryan Chaffee’s fantastic innings of relief kept the game within striking distance, and a save situation prompted Sugar Land to bring in Felipe Paulino (S, 12), who was riding a 1.00 ERA and 11 saves into the contest. The Blue Crabs would test the MLB veteran Paulino as Rubi Silva and Joe Benson started the frame off with a pair of hits, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. Jose Julio-Ruiz grounded out to bring the first Southern Maryland run home and Cory Vaughn followed that up with a hot shot line drive down the left field line to bring the game within one run. The Blue Crabs three hits and two runs in the inning accounted for one-fourth of the hits allowed by Paulino this season, and half of the runs that he has let up. The comeback efforts however would come up just a hair short, as Southern Maryland would drop the series opener by a score of 3-2.
The Blue Crabs will return home tomorrow, June 8th as they take on the Sugar Land Skeeters. Tomorrow will be the the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the hit television show, Friends, and the second of of a seven-day, eight-game homestand at Regency Furniture Stadium, with the first pitch at 6:35 PM.
Be sure to vote your Blue Crabs to the 2019 Atlantic League All-Star Game, just click: www.atlanticleague.com/allstarvoting
About the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
The Blue Crabs play 140 regular season games in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs. The Blue Crabs call Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland home. The 12th franchise season will begin April 2019. For more information on the SOMD Blue Crabs, please call 301-638-9788 or visit http://www.somdbluecrabs.com for more information.