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Southern Maryland strikes back with a 5-1 win over Sugar Land

Sugar Land, TX – In the first series of the Blue Crabs’ 2019 season, it has been a back and forth affair with the Sugar Land Skeeters, two heavyweights launching their punches one after the other. To begin game four of the seven game series Southern Maryland connected a haymaker. Craig Maddox got the scoring started in the first inning with a line drive single to score Angelys Nina, making it four straight games that Nina has scored the first Blue Crab run of the game. Tony Thomas kept it going with a moonshot sacrifice fly that scored Frank Martinez to put the Blue Crabs ahead 2-0 in the first.

Southern Maryland household name Cory Vaughn tacked on another run in the third with a double that scored the 2018 Atlantic League Gold Glover Edwin Garcia. A 3-0 lead is by no means a comfortable lead, especially in a series that has seen the likes of a six run Skeeter comeback in the latter stages of a game. That’s why Craig Maddox connected on a punch that all but knocked the Skeeters out with a two-run home run to right field to cushion the Blue Crab lead.

Southpaw Pat Dean got the start for Southern Maryland today, and the former big leaguer didn’t disappoint. He would end up tossing a total of five scoreless innings, and allowing just five hits. As if that was an impressive enough introduction to the Atlantic League, he also fanned nine batters.

Martinez kept his bat hot in the top of the seventh with an RBI single, his seventh RBI in four games. Another lefty, Adam Choplick came into relieve Dean and kept the slate clean, going two innings strong to keep the Skeeters scoreless, and the Blue Crab lead at 5-0. It wasn’t until the eighth inning that Sugar Land got on the board with a Cody Asche single that knocked a run in off Blue Crabs’ reliever El’Hajj Muhammad in his first inning of work.

Blue Crabs’ manager Stan Cliburn called on right-hander pitcher Miguel Nunez in the bottom of the ninth to seal the deal on a Blue Crabs victory. Nunez worked around a leadoff walk by inducing a 6-4-3 double play and a flyout to set the Skeeters down 1-2-3, bringing Southern Maryland back to an even 2-2 thanks to a 5-1 victory.

The Blue Crabs’ home opener is May 3 against the Lancaster Barnstormers.

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