Blue Rocks lose seventh consecutive game as offensive struggles continue

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Maxwell Romero Jr. celebrates after crushing his third home run of the year. - Tuesday, May 14, 2024 / Photo via Ryan Griffith

The Wilmington Blue Rocks lost their seventh consecutive game on Tuesday, May 14, dropping the opening game of their six-game series against the Aberdeen IronBirds by a final score of 6-2.

Luke Young got the start on the bump and bounced back in a big way. After giving up nine earned runs in his previous two starts combined, the 22-year-old settled in quickly on Tuesday and allowed just two runs on two hits in 4 ⅓ innings, while also striking out four in the process.

It was night and day difference in the eyes of manager Mario Lisson, who watched a pitcher with control and composure against Aberdeen.

“Attacking the zone,” Lisson said. “That’s when he’s going to be successful, attacking the zone and mixing in his pitches. That’s what he did today.”

Catcher Maxwell Romero Jr. was behind the dish for Young’s two recent subpar outings as well as his series-opening bounce back. He always kept his faith in Young, who has showcased an elite arsenal out on the mound at different points throughout the season.

“I wouldn’t say his last two were rough,” Romero Jr. said. “Rough to what we’ve seen him do, yeah, I’ve seen him punch out ten guys in four innings. It’s unbelievable. He’s just playing baseball, that’s what we’re all trying to do.”

In addition to calling a great game, Romero Jr. contributed offensively by blasting a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to get the Blue Rocks on the board. It was his third long ball of the year, but that’s in the back of his mind because the team as a whole couldn’t find a groove.

“I hit it pretty solid; I’m glad it went over, the team needed that run,” Romero Jr. said. “But at the end of the day we still fell short… I just care about this team winning right now, that’s all I really want. I know we’re gonna come and get it next time out.”

Despite Young’s stellar outing and Romero Jr.’s homer, Wilmington’s offense continued the week-long rut they’ve been in offensively. During the team’s seven-game losing streak, they’ve scored just 12 total runs; an average of under two per game. Lisson knows that isn’t going to cut it, and noted that in order for the Blue Rocks to get back to their winning ways, the bats need to get going immediately.

“We gotta get our hitting going, man, we’re not hitting,” Lisson said. “One run, two runs, you can’t win like that too much. You might be able to hold them for a day or two, but it’s really hard to win with one run. We gotta get our hitting going, we’re working on it every day, and hopefully, we’ll snap out of it pretty soon.”

Wilmington’s next chance at victory will be on Wednesday, May 15 at 6:35 p.m. Although this is the first lengthy rough patch they’ve experienced this season, Romero Jr. is confident in the team’s ability to dominate and get back to their early-season form.

“Once we all start hitting contagiously, it’s gonna be a different team,” Romero Jr. said. “You guys saw it in the beginning of the season, everyone starts hitting contagiously and it’s a really dangerous lineup. We took Brooklyn, I don’t know where they are in the standings, but we took them out in three games like it was nothing. That’s our offense; our offense can really play when it comes up to the big boys.”

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