(7/16/2022, Waldorf, MD) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and High Point Rockers traded the lead three different times, but the Blue Crabs edged the Rockers 5-4 to clinch the series.
In the bottom of the second inning, High Point started the scoring. After a leadoff double, Alex Merithew picked up a flyout and a strikeout. But with two outs, Giovanny Alfonzo hit a ground ball that took an awkward deflection off of second base toward center field, scoring Russell and giving the Rockers a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, the Blue Crabs responded off of Liam O’Sullivan. Joe DeLuca led off the frame by destroying a solo home run over the wall in right field, tying the score at 1-1.
The Blue Crabs kept the bats going in the fourth inning. Michael Wielansky led off the inning with a single, before Zach Collier roped one into the right-center field alley. Wielansky scored from first base while Collier reached third on the throw home. The next batter, David Harris, hit a slow ground ball to third, allowing Collier to score, giving the Blue Crabs a 3-1 lead.
Across the first five innings, Merithew was dominant, allowing only one run on four hits. In the sixth inning, he ran into control issues. After walking two batters, Merithew surrendered a one-out double down the left field line, scoring one, and putting two runners in scoring position. The Rockers scored the tying run on a fielder’s choice. With runners still on the corners, Jay Gonzalez knocked a base hit into left field, giving the Rockers a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Chasen Bradford (L, 2-3) entered the game for High Point and struggled. Jared Walker lifted a ball to deep left field, but Zander Wiel reached over the wall and robbed a home run. The Blue Crabs bats kept hitting though. The next batter, Joe DeLuca crushed a double down the right-field line before Ryan Haug belted a two-run home run over the wall in left field, giving the Blue Crabs a 5-4 lead.
From there the bullpen took control. Patrick Baker (W, 3-1) recorded the final out in the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh. In the eighth, Bradley Roney threw a 1-2-3 inning. Endrys Briceno (SV, 6) entered for the ninth inning. He struck out the first batter before allowing an infield single and a walk. Briceno came back with back-to-back strikeouts, securing the 5-4 victory.
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs improve to 7-4 in the second half and 55-22 overall with the victory. The Blue Crabs will go for the sweep over the High Point Rockers at 4 pm.
About the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
The Blue Crabs play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, MLB’s premier Partner League. The Blue Crabs have kicked off their 14th season of baseball and play all home games at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland. For more information on the Blue Crabs, please call 301-638-9788 or visit http://www.somdbluecrabs.com. For media requests, contact Andrew Bandstra, at 301-678-1124.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League is the first Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the Major Leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. The ALPB has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing 44 million fans during its 24-year history. Please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.