Ducks top Blue Crabs, take 2-0 lead in series
WALDORF, Md. -- Matt Way learned baseball on an Alaskan island in the Pacific Ocean. Now he's making waves in the Atlantic League.
Way, who began his Ducks career with 172/3 scoreless innings, finally allowed a run Thursday night, but a late rally gave him another win as the Ducks beat host Southern Maryland, 3-1, in Game 2 of the Liberty Division Championship Series.
The Ducks, who stranded runners in scoring position in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings, took the lead for good on an ugly play in the eighth.
With the Ducks trailing 1-0 and runners on second and third with one out, Joash Brodin grounded out to first. When Mitch Canham took off from third, the throw beat him but was wild. Canham scored and Dan Lyons followed for a 2-1 lead.
"I actually thought the ball went over the first baseman's head," Way said. "I was looking out in rightfield; suddenly it's rolling around behind home plate."
Brandon Sing homered to make it 3-1 in the top of the ninth and Leo Rosales pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to earn the save.
Way, who is from Sitka, Alaska, has three wins in three starts since joining the Ducks from Laredo of the American Association. He has struck out 29 batters and allowed eight hits and one run in 211/3 innings. "I think being the new guy in the league helps me out," Way said. "No one's really seen me yet.''
The only blemish on Way's resume came in the fifth when Richard Mercado crushed a home run to center. Way struck out four of the next five batters.
Way hails from Sitka, Alaska, a city on Alaska's Baranof Island, the 10th-largest island in the United States. Long Island is No. 11, but the similarities end there. "This town has more people than my half of Alaska," Way said. "But I like the East Coast. It's a little crowded, but it's niceto spend half a year out here."
The Ducks' Bob Zimmerman (6-10, 4.32) will start Game 3 against Gabriel Hernandez, who is 5-1 with a 2.76 ERA since signing with the Blue Crabs after being released from the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization in August.