Blue Crabs Stage Comeback to Win Series Opener

Bridgewater, NJ – June 5,2019 - Fresh off the Blue Crabs’ first true off day in a day in day short of a month, they may have come out of the gates slow, but the much needed rest paid off in the long run, as they staged a late inning comeback to steal the series opener from the Somerset Patriots.

This game featured a battle of two early names in the ballot for ALPB Pitcher of the Year. When reading up and down the individual leaderboards for pitchers’ stats in the Atlantic League it is difficult to find a category without one or both of today’s starters’ names. It was Craig Stem (W, 3-2) on the bump for the good guys as he faced off against the league leader in ERA, David Kubiak (L, 4-1).

It was hard pressed to find a heartbeat within either teams’ bats through the first two-thirds of a ballgame, as Stem and Kubiak were dicing. They traded scoreless innings throughout the first five and half innings of work, and neither party flinched until the Patriots squeezed a run across in the bottom of the sixth. Somerset’s Will Kengor drove in the lone Patriot run of the affair, scoring Ramon Flores in what seemed to be a dagger considering the lack of offensive production from either side.

Southern Maryland’s well rested bats came to life in their half of the eighth inning, but they got it going in quite the unorthodox manner. The inning started with a bunt single off the bat of Kent Blackstone. Rubi Silva then laid down a bunt to move Blackstone into scoring position, but a well-placed bunt and a speedy Silva led to a bunt single, and suddenly the Blue Crabs had doubled their hit total on the night in two batters. Frank Martinez kept it going when he drove in his team best 18th RBI of the season to tie the contest at one run a piece. The madness continued when Jose Julio-Ruiz reached on an error to load the bases with just one out. Cory Vaughn got the job done with a sacrifice fly to give the Blue Crabs their first lead of the ballgame, sitting at a tally of 2-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.

Ryan Chaffee (S, 1) got the call to close the door on the Patriots, attempting to hand them their fourth straight loss. Chaffee walked two of the first three batters that he faced, and the air in TD Bank Ballpark smelled of a comeback. With one out and two runners on base, a hard ground ball went up the middle. Chaffee fielded the hot-shot across his body, and as he tried to field the ball it fell out of his glove, but quick instincts found him picking it up and firing to second base, and the recipient of the 2018 ALPB Gold Glove Award did the rest, as Edwin Garcia smoothly completed the double play to secure of 2-1 Blue Crabs victory.

The Blue Crabs will return home Friday, June 7th for the final game of the homestand, and it’ll be Girl Scout Night/Sleepover and Glow in the Park Night at Regency Furniture Stadium, with the first pitch at 6:35 PM.

Tune into all Blue Crabs home games on YouTube (@somdbluecrabs) or on Facebook (@somdbluecrabs).

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