Despite being down six runs in the first inning, the Baysox earned their first victory of the 2016 season Monday evening versus the Erie SeaWolves. Both starting pitchers struggled early in the game as the two teams combined to score 20 runs, with 13 coming in the first two innings.
After being down six runs before they even came to bat, Bowie responded with two runs in the first and another five runs in the second and did not trail again.
Baltimore Orioles LHP Brian Matusz made the start for the Baysox on a Major League Rehab Assignment. He pitched just one inning and allowed six earned runs on seven hits, while striking out one and walking one in the outing. LHP Chris Lee pitched behind Matusz and settled the SeaWolves bats to get the win going six and a third innings.
Erie got on the board first during a 30 pitch first inning from Matusz. After singles from Gustavo Nunez and Alberto Gonzalez, a third single from Dean Green scored the first run of the game. Dominic Ficociello followed Green’s RBI single with one of his own to make the score 2-0. Matusz was able to get Jason Krizan to fly out harmlessly, but the next batter Austin Green teed up a three-run homer to left field on a 0-2 pitch. Erie was not done scoring, as they used small ball to manufacture another run – a bunt single by Tyler Bortnick, followed by a stolen base by Bortnick and a single by Connor Harrell to make the score 6-0.
However, the Baysox responded in the bottom of the first inning. After a leadoff walk by Julio Borbon, who reached base four times, reigning Eastern League batting champion Trey Mancini came to bat with one out and hit a laser two-run home run to left field.
Lee replaced Matusz to begin the second inning and closed the door on the SeaWolves – allowing a single, followed by a 4-6-3 double play. The Baysox continued their scoring in the bottom of the second inning where Bowie batted around the whole order. The rally started when Corban Joseph hit a first-pitch solo home run to right field. Drew Dosch, Jeff Kemp, Julio Borbon and Mike Yastrzemski hit consecutive singles to bring in two more runs. The fourth run of the inning was scored due to a wild pitch by Erie starter RHP Brennan Smith. The fifth and final run of the inning was scored off a RBI single off the bat of Chance Sisco.
Erie clawed back to tie the game in the top of the third inning. With one out, Jason Krizan walked and moved to third base on an Austin Green single to right field before scoring on a sacrifice fly to make the score 7-7. The Baysox regained control of the game in the bottom of the fourth via a solo home from Borbon to right field to make the score 8-7.
After a pitching change, Bowie struck again in the bottom of the fifth inning against Erie RHP Gabe Hemmer. Chance Sisco reached on a fielding error and later came around to score on a Drew Dosch RBI groundout to give Baysox a commanding 9-7 lead. After a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning the Baysox kept piling on the runs in the bottom of the frame. Hemmer issued walks to Yastrzemski and Latimore before being replaced by LHP Joe Mantiply with two outs. Sisco struck again with his second and third RBI’s of the game on a double to right field to push the lead to 11-7.
The SeaWolves did not go quietly and wound up rallying in the top of the eighth inning to cut the Baysox lead in half. Krizan drew a lead-off walk and Tyler Bortnick followed with a one-out home run to make the score 11-9.
Baysox reliever Jason Stoffel closed down the door to get the save by pitching one scoreless inning with zero hits and two strikeouts.
Bowie is home through Wednesday, April 13 for a seven-game homestand against the Akron RubberDucks and Erie SeaWolves. Promotional highlights included Mutt Monday, April 11 at 6:35 p.m. and Dollar Dog Night Tuesday, April 12 beginning at 6:35 p.m.
The 2016 Bowie Baysox season is presented by Money One Federal Credit Union. The Baysox are the 2015 Eastern League Champions! Bowie opens its 24th season as the Class AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles at home Thursday, April 7 against the Akron RubberDucks at 6:35 p.m. Single game tickets are now on sale at www.baysox.com.