Halama Shuts Down Somerset

(PR) Waldorf, MD – John Halama tossed the second complete game of the Atlantic League season, playing stopper for Southern Maryland as the Blue Crabs defeated the Somerset Patriots 9-2 in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Regency Furniture Stadium.

The Patriots got to Halama (2-1) in the second, scoring first for the third straight day. Michael Hernandez led off the inning with a double down the right field line with one out. Jason Belcher followed with a single and Iggy Suarez drove home Hernandez with a broken bat looper into center field. Elliott Ayala reached to load the bases, but the wily veteran Halama eluded any more damage, retiring the next two batters. From then on, it was the former Major-Leaguer’s day as he proceeded to send down 17 of the next 18 Patriots to bat against him. It wasn’t until the eighth where the Patriots finally notched another run, an unearned tally on a Ryan Freel RBI single. Halama allowed ten hits but stranded nine Patriots, striking out six without a walk.

Halama was countered by Jason Monti who, in his second start of the year, threw a quality outing. Monti (1-2) allowed the leadoff men to reach in the second and fourth innings on extra base hits and both would score off him, giving the Blue Crabs their first lead of the series. Those would be the only two runs across against Monti who issued three walks and allowed just three hits in six frames of work, striking out six.

The Blue Crabs added insurance runs off of the Somerset bullpen. In a 2-1 game, the Blue Crabs put up a trio of runs against Brian Henderson in the seventh inning on three hits and a walk. After the Patriots scored in the eighth to cut the lead to three, four of the five men to hit against Ryan Houston reached and scored, giving the Blue Crabs a touchdown lead into the 9th where Halama finished it off.

Somerset (12-10) begins a seven-game homestand at TD Bank Ballpark, starting on Tuesday against the Camden Riversharks. Gates open at 6:00 pm and coverage will get underway at 7:00 on WCTC-AM and online at http://www.wctcam.com and http://www.somersetpatriots.com.

NOTES: Seven of the Patriots 10 hits came from the 6-9 spots in the order…Suarez notched three hits on the day, extending his hit streak to six games while Ayala and Tim Raines Jr. each had a pair of infield singles…Freel entered the game in the sixth after Joe Burke exited following a diving catch in foul ground…the runs against Henderson were the first he has allowed since April 24…Joe Holden went 0-5, snapping his five-game hit streak.

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