NEWARK – Casey Benjamin’s RBI double to right-center in the sixth inning snapped a 1-1 tie and highlighted a three-run rally, leading the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to a 4-1 victory over the Newark Bears Tuesday afternoon at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
Benjamin laced his double off Bears starter Ryan Glynn (2-2), scoring Shaun Cumberland, who led off the sixth with a walk. Benjamin then scored on a three-base error and Eric Crozier, who reached on the three-base miscue, scored on an RBI single from Travis Garcia, capping the rally.
Kenny Rayborn (9-5) pitched six solid innings, allowing just one earned run, scattering eight hits and striking out four while walking two. Jason Waddell pitched one scoreless inning, giving way to Ryan Speier for the eighth, who ended up striking out the side in that frame, and Jim Ed Warden, the Atlantic League’s saves leader, pitched a perfect ninth for his league-best 19th save.
After the two teams posted zeroes for the first three innings, Southern Maryland got on the board when Crozier belted a mammoth 420-foot homer to right field, his 15th of the season, giving the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead. The Bears tied the game in the home fifth, when Pablo Ozuna and Brian Barton delivered consecutive singles and Ozuna scored on Daryle Ward’s sacrifice fly. Newark had several chances in the opening innings, leaving the bases loaded in the first and leaving two runners on in both the second and fourth innings. The Bears also threatened in the eighth inning, but stranded runners on first and third when three straight Newark batters fanned against reliever Speier.
Glynn had a solid start for Newark, pitching seven strong innings, allowing just two earned runs and five hits, striking out three. Ozuna and newly acquired Eric Munson had two hits each for the Bears.
The Bears and Blue Crabs play game two of their three-game set on Wednesday evening in Newark. Game time is set for 6:35 p.m., with the gates of the “Den” swinging open at 5:35 p.m. Wednesday night is “Kids Eat Free,” presented by Dr. Thomas Haveron. All kids 12 and under (with a paid adult) get to eat free at all concession stands throughout the ballpark.
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