The Baysox (1-0) offense started off the 2014 season with a bang, scoring an opening night record 12 runs on the way to a 12-6 win over the Harrisburg Senators (0-1) Thursday night.
“I think everyone in the lineup had a hit, we drove in runs, we hit really well with guys in scoring position,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “I thought we ran the bases really well – Britton going first to third. We were really aggressive. We were given some opportunities with some plays that opened the door but I really liked what I saw in the first game of the year.”
The 12 runs scored by the Baysox was a team Opening Night record, breaking the previous record set in 2005 when Baysox beat Harrisburg 10-2. Three different Baysox players recorded 3-RBI nights as the offense showed no rust early in the season.
The Baysox got off to a terrific start in the bottom of the first inning against Harrisburg starter Blake Schwartz. Third baseman Buck Britton hit a lead off double to right field and shortstop Niuman Romero brought him home with a triple to center field. Romero scored on a force out by right fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang to give Bowie a 2-0 lead.
Bowie added another run in the second inning after a lead off single by designated hitter K.D. Kang and a fielding error. Kang advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Garabez Rosa and scored on a single to center field by left fielder Johnny Ruettiger to make the score 3-0.
The Senators got two runs back in the top of the third inning against Baysox starter Eduardo Rodriguez. Rick Hague drew a one out walk and moved to second base on a single to center field by Michael Taylor. Cutter Dykstra reached on a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases and a pair of runs scored on a fielding error by first baseman Christian Walker. Walker’s throw to second base hit the baserunner, allowing two runs to score as the ball rolled into the outfield, making the score 3-2.
The Baysox blew the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning. Catcher Michael Ohlman hit a lead off double to right field and Kang followed with a walk. Rosa then hit a three-run homer down the left field line to clear the bases. Ruettiger kept the hits coming with a single to left field and Britton followed with a single to right field. After a Britton stolen base put runners at second and third Romero brought home a run with a sacrifice fly. Colin Bates then replaced Schwartz on the mound and surrendered a sac fly to Chiang that brought home another run. With two outs, Walker kept the rally going with a single to center field and he scored on a double to left field by center fielder Dariel Alvarez to give Bowie a 9-2 lead.
The Senators clawed back with three runs in the top of the fifth to make the score 9-5. Hague hit a lead off single to center field and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Taylor and Dykstra followed with singles to load the bases and Justin Bloxom hit a one out double to left field to bring home two runs. Jason Martinson followed with a sacrifice fly to plate the final run of the inning.
Bowie got two runs right back in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and Ruettiger on first base, Britton singled to left field and Romero followed with a single to center field that scored Ruettiger and moved Britton to third. The rally continued with a Chiang double to right field that plated Britton and made the score 11-5.
A Mitch Canham solo home run in the top of the sixth inning off left-handed reliever Jason Gurka brought Harrisburg back to 11-6.
The Baysox got the run right back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Alvarez hit a lead off double to left field and Ohlman followed with a walk. Kang reached on a force out that moved Alvarez to third and eliminated Ohlman at second and Neil Holland then replaced Bates on the mound. With two outs, Ruettiger reached on a fielding error that allowed Alvarez to score and give the Baysox a 12-6 lead.
Rodriguez earned the win for the Baysox, pitching five innings and allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits while striking out two and walking two. Gurka pitched two innings and allowed one run on one hit while striking out three batters. Reliever Marcel Prado finished the game for the Baysox, pitching two scoreless innings and allowing two hits while striking out two.
Schwartz took the loss for Harrisburg, pitching three and one-third innings and allowing eight runs (six earned) on nine hits while walking two.
RHP Tyler Wilson takes the mound for the Baysox Friday as the team plays the second game in a four game series with the Harrisburg Senators. He will be opposed by LHP Felipe Rivero.
The Baysox are home through Wednesday, April 9 for a seven game homestand. Promotional highlights include Kids Opening night with Scholastic Book Giveaway Friday, April 4 beginning at 6:35 p.m. and fireworks Saturday, April 4 after the game.
Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 2014 season, their 22nd as the class Double-A Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, is underway at Prince George’s Stadium. Come see some of the top Orioles prospects play here first. To keep up with Baysox news during the season, visit baysox.com.