Baysox Squeak Past Squirrels

| May 20, 2011
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Bowie Baysox right fielder Ronnie Welty delivered a two-out RBI double in the top of the 16th inning Thursday night in Richmond, as the Baysox claimed a 3-2 victory.  With the win, the Baysox improve to .500 at 20-20.

Baysox right-hander Wynn Pelzer held the Richmond Flying Squirrels to one run on four hits over five and one-third innings but he did not factor in the decision as the game drug on for four hours and 43 minutes.  In 12 meetings between the teams this season, only two games have been decided by more than two runs.  The 16-inning affair was the second extra-inning game between the clubs this season, they also played the longest game in Baysox franchise history at Prince George’s Stadium April 30, when the Baysox claimed a 3-2 victory with a solo home run in the bottom of the 18th frame.

Richmond jumped out to an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning.  Ryan Lormand lifted a one-out double into center field and scored when Nick Noonan followed with another double to center field.  Noonan moved to third on a groundout but was stranded there when Pelzer struck out Johnny Monell to end the inning.

The Squirrels threatened to score again in the bottom of the second inning.  Roger Kieschnick lined a one-out single into center field and stole second base with Sharlon Schoop batting.  Baysox catcher Adam Donachie’s throw sailed into center field on the play, allowing Kieschnick to take third base.  With one out and a runner on third base, Pelzer recorded a strikeout and a ground out to end the inning with the Baysox trailing 1-0.

Richmond put a runner in scoring position again the third inning.  Noonan struck out for what should have been the third out of the inning, but he swung at a wild pitch and reached first base on the play.  Justin Christian followed with an infield single to shortstop to put runners on first and second, but Pelzer induced a fly ball to end the inning.

After Eastern League strikeout leader Eric Surkamp retired the first nine Baysox batters in order, Bowie finally broke through with a run in the top of the fourth inning.  Leadoff hitter Greg Miclat opened the frame with a double to right field.  After back-to-back strikeouts Baysox left fielder Robbie Widlansky delivered a two-out RBI single to center field to tie the game at 1-1.

With the score tied heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, Pelzer found a groove and retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth innings.  After issuing a lead off walk in the top of the sixth inning, Pelzer struck out Christian and was relieved by left-hander Cole McCurry.  It was Pelzer’s second longest outing of the season, and the fourth time in nine outings that the right-hander walked one batter or less.  Pelzer’s five punchouts also tied for his second most of the season.

McCurry entered the game with a scorching 0.40 ERA after logging 22 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to his first appearance for Bowie.  The lefty retired the first five Squirrels he faced.

After managing three hits through the first seven innings, Bowie chased Surkamp from the game with a pair of hits in the top of the eighth inning.  First baseman Brandon Waring led off with a single to left field and was pinch run for by Xavier Avery.  Surkamp attempted to pick Aver off of first base and the speedster broke for second and was thrown out by Schoop.  Donachie lifted a long fly ball to left field, but Kieschnick caught the ball on the warning track for the second out.  Klye Hudson dropped a single into left field with two outs and Surkamp was relieved by Dan Otero.

With two outs and Hudson on first base, Miclat drew a walk to reach base for the third time in the contest.  The runners executed a double steal to advance to second and third base, but third baseman Carlos Rojas was called out on strikes to end the inning.

Richmond threatened to end McCurry’s streak in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Charlie Culberson lined a lead off single into right field and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt.  McCurry struck out Noonan for the second out of the inning before walking Christian to put runners on first and second base.  Monell flew out to end the inning with the score still tied at one apiece.

Designated hitter Caleb Joseph led off the top of the ninth inning with a single but was stranded at first base.  Right-hander Raul Rivero relieved McCurry to open the bottom of the ninth inning and retired the side in order before Bowie scored an unearned run in the top of the 10th to take their first lead of the game.

Avery led off the top of the tenth inning with a single to left field.  Donachie advanced Avery to second with a sacrifice bunt and Hudson struck out for the second out of the inning.  Miclat delivered a soft line drive to Noonan at short.  Noonan fielded the ball on a hop and threw to first, but Schoop was charged with an error when he was unable to step on first base for the out.  Avery sprinted home on the play, and Schoop was charged with a second error on the play as his throw home was wild and Avery scored to put Bowie in front 2-1.

Richmond answered with another unearned run in the bottom of the 10th inning as right-handed closer Jose Diaz entered the game looking for his 13th save.  Diaz walked pinch hitter Jose Flores to open the frame before Culberson flew out to center field for the first out.  Lormand hit a ball to Miclat at second base, but a fielding error by the second baseman allowed both runners to reach safely.  Diaz had a chance to end the game with a double play to end the stanza as Noonan hit a ground ball to second base.  Miclat threw to second for the first out of the inning, but shortstop Pedro Florimon threw the relay into the Flying Squirrels dugout for a two-base error as Flores scored to tie the game at 2-2.  Christian grounded out to end the inning and the game continued on into the night.

Richmond right-hander Ronnie Ray entered the game in the top of the 11th inning and faced the minimum over four innings of work.  Hudson led off the top of the 13th inning with a bunt single but was erased stealing second base.  Including his effort Thursday night, Ray has now thrown 15 and one-third consecutive scoreless innings.

Baysox lefthander Nick Bierbrodt relieved Diaz in the bottom of the 11th inning and worked four scoreless innings of his own, holding the Squirrels scoreless on three hits with no walks and strikeouts.

Bowie threatened to take the lead in the top of the 15th inning against Richmond reliever Edwin Quirarte.  Florimon welcomed Quirarte to the game with a single to center field and Avery reached on a bunt single to put runners on first and second.  Donachie attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt but Florimon was thrown out at third base for the first out.  Steve Lerud pinch hit for Hudson and struck out for the second out and Miclat struck out to end the inning.

Quirarte allowed the leadoff runner to reach again in the top of the 16th inning and the Baysox managed to push across the winning run.  Rojas drew a walk to open the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Joseph.  Two batters later, Rojas took third base on a passed ball before scoring on Welty’s two-out double to left field.

After allowing two runners to reach base in the bottom of the 15th inning, left-handed reliever Pedro Viola closed out the victory with a scoreless frame in the bottom of the 16th.  The Baysox bullpen worked nine and two-thirds innings of relief without allowing an earned run in the victory as Viola improved to 3-1 on the season.  The unit held the Squirrels to five hits and three walks over that span, while striking out nine batters.

The Baysox return home Friday, May 20, for a three-game home stand against the Erie SeaWolves. The Baysox host Star Trek Mania with postgame fireworks Friday, May 20, Basketball Night with postgame fireworks Saturday, May 21, and Swashbuckling Sunday and Meet the Team Day Sunday, May 22.  For more information on Baysox promotions and theme nights, visit www.baysox.com.

Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 19th season as the class Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is underway. Parking is free at every Baysox home game and tickets are now available at www.baysox.com.

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Category: COLUMNS, The Baysox Beat

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