The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (30-24) fell short in game two against the visiting New Britain Bees (21-34) 9-3, behind a pair of homeruns from Michael Crouse.
Southern Maryland’s starter, Drew Hayes (2-2), ran into trouble immediately, falling behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning. After striking out the lead-off hitter, Hayes gave up a single and walk. Another strikeout brought up Jonathon Griffin, with two on and two outs. Griffin promptly doubled to left-center field, scoring both runners. Jamar Walton followed with a single of his own, scoring Griffin from the second for the third run in the inning.
The Blue Crabs responded in the bottom of the inning, putting up a run of their own off Eric Fornataro. Fornataro walked the second hitter, Edwin Garcia, who then stole second to advance to scoring position. Michael Snyder came through with a two-out double, rattling around in the left field corner, and scoring Garcia.
The Bees extended their lead in the third inning, when Crouse connected on a two-run shot, putting them ahead 5-1. Southern Maryland fought back in the bottom half, stringing together three baserunners with two outs. The inning started with Fornataro throwing three straight balls, before being removed from the game with an injury concern. Brandon League came in to relieve him, picking up two outs, before walking Zach Wilson. Snyder followed with a single, advancing Wilson to third. A wild pitch from League followed, scoring Wilson easily, and cutting the lead to 5-2.
The Bees opened up their lead further in the fifth inning, putting up three more off Hayes, all with two outs. It started with a walk to Griffin, which was followed by another Walton single. Crouse came up next, hitting a laser out to left field, clearing the wall for his second homerun of the game. The three-run shot put the Bees comfortably ahead, leading 8-2 after five innings.
The Blue Crabs mustered another run in the bottom of the sixth, with Cory Vaughn and Devon Rodriguez teaming up for back-to-back doubles, cutting the deficit to five runs. However, the Bees out up another run in the seventh, opening up a 9-3 lead. Craig Maddox got the rally started with a one-out double, with Griffin walking behind him. Crouse came up with two outs, rolling a groundball to short that would appear to end the inning. The toss from Garcia to second baseman Brian Bistagne was mishandled at the bag, falling to the infield dirt, and allowing Maddox to cross for the ninth run of the game.
The Bees’ bullpen took over from there, working three straight scoreless innings, evening the series with the 9-3 victory. The loss drops the Blue Crabs to 30-24 on the season, still good enough for a 0.5 game lead in the Freedom Division.
The Blue Crabs return to action Sunday, June 18th to for the deciding game in a three-game series against the Bees. Southern Maryland will send RHP Brian Grening (4-1, 2.71) to the mound, trying to clinch a series win. He will matchup with New Britain’s RHP Mike Lee (1-4, 5.65, fighting to take the series for the Bees. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 P.M. on Sunday at Regency Furniture Stadium.
For more information on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, or to reserve your seat today for any of the Blue Crabs upcoming home games, please visit our website at somdbluecrabs.com or call us at 301-638-9788.