Van Hekken Picks Up First Win In Opener, Multi-Hit Performances For Ford And Rogers In Nightcap
(Waldorf, MD– May 23, 2018) – The New Britain Bees (8-16) split a doubleheader with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (8-16) at Regency Furniture Stadium on Wednesday evening, with New Britain winning the opener 7-3, while Southern Maryland was victorious in the nightcap 3-2, with both contests lasting seven innings of play.
In game one, New Britain starting pitcher Andy Van Hekken (1-3) won his first game in a Bees uniform, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings of work, walking one and striking out seven. Southern Maryland starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton (2-2) suffered the loss, surrendering seven runs on ten hits in just four innings pitched, walking three and striking out one.
Trailing 2-1 in the top half of the fourth inning, New Britain sent ten batters to the plate against Cumpton, scoring six runs on six hits to take a commanding 7-2 advantage. With runners at first and second and nobody out, James Skelton picked up a bunt single, and the ball was thrown away at first base by catcher Austin Green, allowing Jamar Walton to score from second with the tying run. Darren Ford followed with a two-run base knock, plating Ozney Guillen and Skelton to give the Bees a 4-2 lead. Later in the frame, Reid Brignac drove home Ford with an RBI single, and Jason Rogers finished off New Britain’s biggest single inning run output in 2018 when he drove in Deibinson Romero and Brignac with a two-run double off the batter’s eye in straightaway centerfield. That was more than enough for Van Hekken, who notched his third consecutive quality start. Brignac, Rogers, Skelton, and Ford each had a pair of hits for the Bees in the victory.
In game two, New Britain starting pitcher Mark Hamburger (1-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits (two home runs) over five innings pitched, walking one and striking out five. Southern Maryland starting pitcher Drake Britton (2-1) picked up the victory after giving up two runs (one earned run) on four hits in five innings on the bump, walking one and striking out three. Craig Stem fired a scoreless inning of relief for his second save overall.
New Britain took a 1-0 lead just four batters into the ballgame when Rogers enabled Ford to cross the plate by way of a run-scoring single. Southern Maryland tied the matchup at one in the home half of the second on a solo home run to left centerfield by Cory Vaughn against Hamburger. The Bees went back on top 2-1 in the top of the third as Rogers drove in Matt Tuiasosopo with a double, his second extra-base hit and fourth run batted in of the doubleheader. The Blue Crabs answered right back in the bottom half of the fourth against Hamburger and never looked back as Devon Rodriguez launched a two-run home run to right field giving the game its final score of 3-2. Ford and Rogers led the way with two hits apiece in defeat. Photo provided courtesy of Megan Murnane.
New Britain returns home on Friday, May 25th when they host the Sugar Land Skeeters. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 P.M. It will be Bark In the Park Night and a Fat Tire Friday! CLICK HERE for tickets.
About the New Britain Bees
The New Britain Bees are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at New Britain Stadium. For information on ticket packages, group outings and sponsorships call 860-826-BEES (2337) or visit NBBees.com.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 38 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.