The Baysox (12-16) held the lead last after five lead changes and one tie in the game, as they went on to beat the Aeros (17-8) 7-5 Friday evening.
The Baysox offense came through with some clutch-hitting, as catcher Caleb Joseph knocked in two runs on a two out double in the first inning. He knocked in two more runs on another double in the eighth inning, which turned out to be the game-winning hit.
“I thought we swung the bat well all night,” said Manager Gary Kendall . “I was really pleased with what we were doing offensively; it was just a matter of some hits falling. LJ [Hoes] really sparked us tonight with four hits and Caleb Joseph had a really nice night driving in four runs.”
Center fielder LJ Hoes helped kick-start the Baysox offense with four hits in four at-bats, including his first home run of the season. He is currently in the middle of a team-high 10 game hitting streak as his bat has begun to heat up after a slow start.
“I’m feeling good at the plate, just not trying to do too much,” Hoes said. “I just want to relax and put good swings on balls. We have been playing well lately as a team, and my job is to get on base. [Brandon] Waring has been playing well, Manny [Machado] has been swinging the bat well, so my thing is to try to get on base for those guys.”
Akron jumped out to the early lead in the top of the first inning against left-handed starting pitcher Jake Pettit. With two outs, Jared Goedert singled to center field and Chun Chen followed with a home run to left field that gave Akron the 2-0 lead.
The fast-paced start continued as the Baysox took the lead right back in the bottom of the first inning against Akron starter Eric Berger. Third baseman Zelous Wheeler reached second base after a fielding error by Akron shortstop Juan Diaz. Hoes plated Wheeler when he singled to center field and shortstop Manny Machado drew a two-out walk to put two runners on base. Joseph scored both runners with a double down the left field line that made the score 3-2.
There was more back and forth action in the top of the second inning as Akron retook the lead. Adam Abraham hit a lead off double to left field and Davis Stoneburner hit a one out single to center field that scored Abraham. Roberto Perez followed with a single to center field that moved Stoneburner to third base where he scored on a sacrifice fly by Tim Fedroff that gave Akron the 4-3 lead.
The Baysox tied the game in the bottom of the third inning on a solo home run by Hoes to left field that tied the score at 4-4.
Akron gained the lead for the third time in the top of the fifth inning when Juan Diaz hit a solo home run to left field that gave Akron the 5-4 lead.
Bowie snatched the lead back with a big eighth inning against Akron reliever Bryan Price . Hoes recorded his fourth hit of the game to lead off the inning when he singled to center field. First baseman Brandon Waring then drew a walk and runners advanced to second and third base after a passed ball with Machado batting. Machado struck out for the first out, but Joseph followed with his second two-RBI double of the game to clear the bases. Joseph scored after a double to left field by Robbie Widlansky that gave the Baysox a 7-5 lead. Akron reliever Matt Langwell replaced Price and finished the inning.
“We had a comeback like that on the road too,” Kendall said. “It was the ninth and we gathered together and got some hits together and tonight was similar – we got a cluster of hits. Things really worked out for us and that was nice to see.”
Pettit pitched five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits while striking out two in a no decision. Gamboa pitched three scoreless innings and allowed just three hits while striking out one batter to earn the win. Right-handed reliever Greg Burke pitched the ninth inning for the Baysox and picked up his fifth save of the season.
Price pitched two and one-third innings for the Aeros and picked up the loss and the blown save.
The Baysox play the second game of a three game series against Akron Saturday. LHP Cole McCurry (0-4, 5.87) will be taking the mound for the Baysox against LHP T.J. McFarland (4-1, 2.22).
The Baysox are home for a three-game home series against Akron that lasts through Sunday, May 6. Saturday is a Cinco de Mayo Celebration, with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday is Bark in the Park, with the game starting at 2:05 p.m.
Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 20th season 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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