WALDORF, Md. – Southern Maryland’s Braxton Lee hit three triples and drove in three runs to lead the Blue Crabs to a 7-3 win over High Point in the opening game of a three-game series at Regency Furniture Stadium. SMD’s Alex Merithew (W, 4-2) earned the win by holding the Rockers to just three hits over eight innings while striking out 11.
The lead see-sawed back and forth early with the Rockers taking a 1-0 advantage on a Jerry Downs solo homer in the first. Southern Maryland’s David Harris and Alex Crosby each collected RBIs in the bottom of the first to give the Blue Crabs a 2-1 lead.
Tyler Ladendorf hit his 16th homer of the year with Quincy Latimore aboard in the second as the Rockers went up 3-2.
But Ladendorf’s homer was High Point’s final hit of the night as Merithew stiffened and didn’t allow the Rockers another hit before leaving after the eighth inning. Endrys Briceno set the Rockers down in order in the ninth to secure the win.
The Rockers managed just two base runners over the final seven innings of the game, both in the third inning, when Downs was hit by a pitch and Zander Wiel reached on an error with each being stranded on base.
Southern Maryland tied the game in the bottom of the third on Lee’s first triple of the night to score Jack Sundberg. Lee then tripled again with two men on in the fifth to put the Blue Crabs up 5-3 before Alex Crosby grounded out to bring home Lee for a 6-3 Southern Maryland advantage. Lee’s third triple came leading off the seventh but he was stranded at third.
The Blue Crabs added an insurance run in the eighth when Michael Baca doubled following a Jared Walker double.
High Point starter Liam O’Sullivan (L, 1-4) went 4.1 innings and allowed five hits and six runs while walking four and striking out three. Reliever Cam Cotter pitched two-thirds of an inning and did not allow a run while Devin Fontenot hurled two scoreless innings. Joe Johnson allowed SMD’s final run in the eighth.
Sundberg added three hits for the Blue Crabs including a double and Crosby finished the night with two RBI.
The Rockers are now 11-20 in the second half and 50-47 on the season.
High Point and Southern Maryland will continue the three-game series on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. at Regency Furniture Stadium.