Extra Inning Win Sweeps Senators
The Bowie Baysox outlasted the Harrisburg Senators Wednesday in a contest that went scoreless through 11 innings before a walk-off two-out RBI double in the bottom of the 12th by second baseman Ryan Adams delivered the Baysox their fifth straight win and sealed a three-game sweep of the Senators.
The 1-0 win moved the Baysox to 6-1 and kept them tied with Altoona for the division lead. Their record through seven games ties the 1994 and 1997 Baysox for the best-ever start to a season. The last time the Baysox won five straight at home was between June 6 and June 18 of 2009, when the team reeled off six in a row in Bowie.
Quality pitching delivered the victory. Starter Steve Johnson received another no-decision, but extended his shutout streak to 11 innings after a five-inning performance with six strikeouts.
The Baysox staff flirted with disaster a number of times but came through in the clutch as the Senators failed to score with runners in scoring position 12 times.
“I lost focus on a couple guys,” Johnson said. “I think in the beginning of the third inning, I walked two straight and I just lost focus and got myself into a jam. Luckily, I could bear down and got myself back and got out of it. I got into a couple other jams, but I felt good, I had good stuff tonight.”
Johnson was relieved by Pat Egan and Chad Thall, who both had strong performances. Egan’s was especially impressive as he was perfect on the mound, retiring all nine batters he faced in succession before yielding to Thall.
“The first couple outings I had, something felt kind of off,” Egan said. “I was kind of all over the place, couldn’t really find the zone and the last couple days I’ve been trying to refine my mechanics and get into more of a rhythm and it helped out tonight.”
Thall also pitched well, with just one hit in his two innings. He retired that runner on the basepaths in an unusual play where Senators left fielder Bill Rhinehart broke for second base before Thall entered his throwing motion. Thall stepped off the rubber as Rhinehart froze between the bases, allowing Thall to run over and make the tag.
“That was the first time I got to tag someone,” Thall said.
Reliever Ryan Ouellette entered the game in the 11th inning and quickly worked his way into a jam by hitting a batter and walking two more to load the bases with one out. First baseman Joel Guzman made a heads up play on a fielder’s choice where he quickly snagged a ground ball to first and fired it in to catcher Caleb Joseph to prevent the Senators from scoring. Ouellette completed his Houdini routine with help from Adams, as the second baseman dove to keep a ground ball from streaking into center field and fired it over to first for the third out.
Adams then handed Ouellette the win in the bottom of the 12th inning. Left fielder Tyler Henson singled off a ground ball to left field and was driven home from first when Adams hit a deep fly ball to right field that landed just inside the foul line and sent the cold, brave Baysox fans who stuck with the team through 12 innings home with a warmth that only winning can provide.
The Baysox now hit the road for four games in Akron and a three-game set in Erie before returning to Bowie on April 22 for a homestand against Akron that includes fireworks shows on the 23rd and 24th presented by Educational Systems Federal Credit Union.