Baysox Win Unintentional Double Header

| May 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Records fell in Bowie on Saturday night and Sunday morning as the Baysox played the longest game in franchise history. After passing midnight and beginning the month of May, catcher Caleb Joseph launched a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 18th inning, more than five hours after the first pitch, to give the Baysox a 3-2 victory over Richmond.

“I’ve never had a walk-off before so it was pretty cool,” Joseph said. “There’s nothing like rounding third and seeing your teammates up there happy and excited. It’s one thing to hit a walk-off in the ninth or tenth, but to be in the 18th – deep down everybody was just so excited so it was a great win for our team.”

The win is the third in a row for the Baysox and improves the team’s record to 12-10, the most games they have been above .500 all season.

Richmond struck first in the top of the second inning. Right-handed starting pitcher Eddie Gamboa started the inning by giving up a solo home run to Johnny Monell that would put the Flying Squirrels up 1-0. Gamboa would hit a batter later in the inning, but did not allow any more runs to score.

The Baysox tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. First baseman Joe Mahoney hit a lead off single through the hole at shortstop and Joseph followed with a single to center field that moved Mahoney to second. With right fielder Ronnie Welty batting, the runners executed a double steal to move to second and third. Welty grounded out, but plated Mahoney to tie the game at one. The inning would end before the Baysox could push Joseph across.

The Flying Squirrels scored again in the top of the eighth inning to put the Baysox on the ropes late in the game. Juan Perez hit a lead off double to right field and a sacrifice bunt by Justin Christian moved him to third. Nick Noonan singled to right field and scored Perez to give the lead back to Richmond. That would be the last run the Baysox bullpen allowed in ten more innings of work.

With one more chance to tie the game, the Baysox offense came through in the bottom of the ninth. Third baseman Carlos Rojas drew a lead off walk from Jason Stoffel and pinch hitter Steve Lerud laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to move Rojas to second. Center fielder Xavier Avery hit a slow rolling single down the first base line that deflected off the bag and away from the Squirrels defense, allowing him to arrive safely at first and advance Rojas to third with one out. Second baseman Greg Miclat grounded out, but drove in the game-tying run before left fielder Jeff Fiorentino grounded out to end the inning and send the game into extra innings.

Starting in the top of the ninth inning, the Baysox bullpen threw ten consecutive scoreless innings to extend the game as both teams battled back and forth throughout the night. The bullpen threw 12 total innings during the game, starting with right-handed pitcher Raul Rivero, who replaced Gamboa in the seventh inning.

Rivero went on to throw 1.2 innings and allow one earned run on two hits while striking out one. Lefty Pedro Viola came in for Rivero in the bottom of the eighth and threw 1.1 innings total, allowing no hits and striking out three. Right-handed closer Jose Diaz came on the throw the tenth inning and he walked one, but allowed no hits and no runs. With the bullpen starting to get thin, Manager Gary Kendall looked to left-handed reliever Cole McCurry, who entered in the 11th and threw 4.1 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and striking out seven. The final pitcher of the game was right-handed reliever Tim Bascom, who entered in the 15th inning and threw 3.2 innings without allowing a hit while striking out seven and earning the win for the second consecutive night.

“You just try and match what they [Richmond] are doing,” Bascom said. “They are trying to throw a shutout and we just have to try and do the same. I was getting a little tired, but I got some adrenaline there at the end and that carried me through. They might have been getting a little restless and trying to do too much and I just tried to capitalize on what they were doing.”

The Baysox best chance to score came in the 15th inning after a lead off double by Miclat. Fiorentino followed with a sacrifice bunt where catcher Aaron Lowenstein threw to third in an attempt to get the lead runner, but failed. The end result was runners safe on the corners with no outs. First baseman Robbie Widansky grounded out and Miclat held at third on the play while Fiorentino moved to second. The Flying Squrrels and David Quinowski chose to intentionally walk Joseph to load the bases with one out, but Welty then struck out and shortstop Pedro Florimon flied out to end the inning without the Baysox scoring the game-winning run.

“We had that opportunity – no outs and runners at the corners – it kind of deflates you a little bit,” Kendall said. “I was wondering how our guys would respond after that because it looked like we were going to be able to come up with a run, but we hung in there. It was a well-pitched ballgame, well played.”

Joseph finally put an end to the game in the bottom of the 18th inning with a lead off home run to left field that came on a 3-1 pitch.

Numerous franchise records were toppled as the game stretched into the night. The longest inning game in franchise history was 16 innings and had been done twice, but the Baysox topped that by playing 18 innings. The longest game time was 5:02 and occurred at New Britain on May 8, 2006. The Baysox topped that by playing 5:27. During that same game in 2006, three batters came to the plate a record-setting eight times. On Saturday night, Avery and Miclat joined the eight at-bat club.

Looking forward to Sunday afternoon, the Baysox close out the series against Richmond with a 2:05 p.m. game. Right-handed pitcher Zach Clark will take the mound with very little support behind him as the bullpen was maxed out in the 18-inning marathon game.

“Clark’s our starter and we have some guys that can maybe go one inning,” Kendall said. “McCurry and Bascom will be down. Diaz will be available so we have a couple guys in the bullpen that can go. Clark’s going to have to get us deep into the game.”

The team is home through Thursday, May 5. The home stand features Country Day Sunday, May 1, Mutt Monday, and Mustache Mania Wednesday, May 4. 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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