WALDORF, Md. – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs unleashed an 18-hit attack and topped the High Point Rockers 9-1 on Wednesday night at Regency Furniture Stadium. High Point centerfielder D.J. Burt had his streak of 60 consecutive games reaching base snapped.
Burt had a pair of flyouts, reached on a fielder’s choice and struck out in his final at-bat in the eighth inning. The fielder’s choice does not count as reaching base as it resulted in a force out.
The Rockers are now 28-15 in the second half in the Atlantic League’s South Division and tied for first place with Gastonia which was rained out on Wednesday night.
Southern Maryland put up the first run of the game in the bottom of the first when High Point starter Jheyson Manzueta (L, 5-2) walked leadoff hitter Jack Sundberg. Philip Caulfield singled to right, sending Sundberg to third. A single by Braxton Lee brought home Sundberg to give the Blue Crabs a 1-0 advantage.
In the third, Braxton Lee walked and Khalil Lee singled to center as B. Lee scored from first. A single by Alex Crosby moved K. Lee to third and he scored when K.C. Hobson sent a soft grounder to first that Emmanuel Tapia fielded and his only play was to step on first for the out as K. Lee scored.
Back-to-back singles by Ryan Grotjohn and Daikan Yoh led to the High Point’s first run. Blue Crab starter Spencer Johnston (W, 5-4) stumbled as he was preparing to release a pitch to Brian Parreira and tumbled to the ground. The balk brought Grotjohn home as the Rockers cut the lead to 3-1.
Manzueta left after five innings having allowed nine hits, three runs and three walks while striking out seven. Bryce Hensley came on in the sixth and allowed five runs on a pair of two-run singles by Caulfield and Jimmy Kerrigan and an RBI single from K. Lee. The Blue Crabs led 8-1 after six and then extended the lead to 9-1 with a run off Kyle Halbohn in the seventh.
Johnston went seven innings and held the Rockers to five hits while striking out five and not issuing a walk. Jacques Pucheu hurled the final two innings, allowing just one hit.
Grotjohn had three hits on the night for the Rockers including a two-out triple in the ninth. Caulfield and Crosby led the Blue Crabs with three hits apiece.
Game three and the rubber match of the series with Southern Maryland will take place on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Regency Furniture Stadium. The game will be streamed live on FLO baseball and also available on the Mixlr app.