The York Revolution dropped their series opener 4-2 to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in front of 4,115 fans at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, MD on Friday evening.
The loss drops the Revs into a tie for first place at 21-14 on the season, as they'll look to even their series on Saturday night.
The Revs had early opportunities in Friday's contest but were unable to convert. Facing Blue Crabs starter Ryan Hinson who owned the league's highest walk total entering the game, York drew four walks in the first two innings, including three to begin the second inning, but with the bases loaded and no outs, Hinson suddenly found the strike zone and escaped unscathed. York only managed a bunt hit (Jason Repko) off Hinson in 5.1 innings, as the lefty allowed just one run despite six walks.
York scored its lone run off the Blue Crabs starter in the fifth as Sean Smith drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and later scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.
The Blue Crabs retaliated with two in their half of the fifth to jump ahead 2-1, scoring on consecutive RBI singles to right by Jermaine Mitchell and Amadeo Zazueta.
York tied the game, and nearly took the lead in the top of the eighth. Still held to just one bunt single all night, Wilson Valdez led off the inning with a single to center, just out of the reach of diving center fielder Dave Sappelt. With one out, Chad Tracy launched a long fly to deep left-center, but was denied the go-ahead home run as Sappelt leapt at the wall and brought the ball back for a spectacular, lead-saving catch. Valdez stole second, moved to third on an infield hit by Johan Limonta and scored on a clutch two-out single to center by Ofilio Castro to tie the game at 2-2, but the Revs were denied the lead.
As they did in the fifth inning, the Blue Crabs answered York's run with two of their own in the same inning, providing the winning margin. With a runner at third and two outs, Jake Opitz hit a ground ball near the first base line. As Tracy was positioning to make a play for the potential final out, the ball glanced off the corner of the bag and trickled away from Tracy and into right field for a go-ahead RBI single. Tony Delmonico added an RBI double to right-center for the insurance run.
The Revs put two aboard with two outs in the ninth and Eric Patterson drove a line shot to centerfield but directly at Sappelt for the final out as Eric Massingham picked up his first save.
Blue Crabs reliever Charlie Manning (1-2) earned the win despite allowing York's run in the eighth inning.
Revs starter Chris Cody took a no-decision, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings of work.
The Revs fall to 17-13 in the month of May, and will go for a club record for wins in May as the month concludes on Saturday with the middle game of the series at 6:35 p.m. at Regency Furniture Stadium. York's Jorge Martinez (1-0, 4.32) faces Southern Maryland's Gaby Hernandez (0-2, 5.25).