Hoes Hammers Thunder

| July 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Baysox battled the heat and the Thunder, but came out ahead 4-1 thanks to a three-RBI performance by left fielder LJ Hoes Friday evening at home. With the win, the Baysox improve to 54-43 on the season and two games behind first place Harrisburg.

Left-handed starting pitcher Mike Ballard pitched six innings and allowed just one run on five hits while striking out five to earn his sixth win of the season. Ballard was forced to battle heat that remained in the 90s throughout the game.

“It was one of those things where as long as you prepare yourself beforehand, it’s not too big of a shock,” Ballard said. “We all knew it was going to be hot out here today. You just slow everything down – lots of deep breaths and slowly work through things. With the conditions, when they told me after the sixth inning that I was done it was one of those things where I wasn’t really going to argue.”

Hoes recorded a team-high three hits and a team-high three RBIs to lead the Baysox offense. Hoes benefitted from the ability of center fielder Xavier Avery and second baseman Greg Miclat to consistently get on base and into scoring position where Hoes could drive them in.

“Thank god we only needed a couple runs tonight – their guy [Banuelos] was really good and we hung in there,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “LJ Hoes drove in three runs and Mahoney picked up that big sac fly – it was a good night for us.”

For the second night in a row, the Thunder got the scoring started in the top of the first inning against Ballard. With one out, Corban Joseph doubled down the left field line and then was knocked in on a double to left field by Rob Lyerly to make the score 1-0.

The Baysox answered back in the bottom of the first inning against Trenton starter Manny Banuelos. Avery led off with a walk then went to third on a single by Miclat. Hoes evened the game with a bloop single to right field that scored Avery.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Baysox took the lead for the first time in the game. Right fielder Ronnie Welty led off with a walk and was forced out at second when Avery reached on a fielder’s choice. Avery then stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Jose Gil. After a walk and a stolen base by Miclat, Hoes hit a double down the left field line that knocked in two runs and gave the Baysox the lead. Hoes then stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Joe Mahoney that made the score 4-1.

The Baysox were very active on the base paths Friday night as they swiped five total bases from Trenton. The most stolen bases in a game by the Baysox this season is six and they did so on April 20 against Akron. Avery stole three bases to raise his season total to 30 stolen bases. It was the second time he stole three bases in a game this season and the first time he stole bases in back-to back games since May 11 and 12.

“I thought we ran the bases really well tonight outside of a pickoff at first,” Kendall said. “[Hitting Coach] Denny [Hocking] was coaching first those innings where we picked up some bags and he was seeing some things over there that helped us out. There’s things a coach can see coaching first base – some tendencies that we took advantage of.”

Saturday, RHP Tim Bascom (6-2, 2.93) takes the mound for the Baysox as they take on the Trenton Thunder. His opponent will be RHP Dellin Betances (4-4, 2.90).

The Baysox are home through Wednesday, July 27 for a seven game home stand that features Welcome to Margaritaville and Fireworks Saturday night, Summer Reading Night Sunday, July 24 and the Jayson Werth Bobblehead giveaway Monday, July 25.

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 or by calling the Baysox box office at (301) 464-4865.

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