The Bowie Baysox closed out their seven-game road trip Wednesday with a 5-3 win over the Erie SeaWolves that snapped their three-game losing streak.
The Baysox move to 10-4 on the season and remain in second place, half a game behind Altoona. In spite of the three-game skid, the Baysox reached 10 wins faster than any team in club history but the 1994 Baysox, who notched 10 wins in the same 14-game window as this year’s team.
Back-to-back home runs in the third inning by corner infielders Brandon Waring and Joel Guzman were the exclamation point on an 11-hit game by Bowie.
Starting pitcher Ryohei Tanaka earned his second win of the season and stands at 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA. It was another strong performance by the Japanese hurler with two earned runs coming off of five hits.
The Baysox wasted no time in getting on the board, as second baseman Paco Figueroa led off the game with a single up the middle and scored when outfielder Miguel Abreu followed with a double to left field.
Tanaka retired the SeaWolves in order in the bottom of the first inning, and the Baysox offense tacked on another run in the second frame. Guzman led off the inning with the Baysox first triple of the year, and he scored on designated hitter Ryan Adams’ infield single to second base. The Baysox went on to load the bases but couldn’t push another run across.
Already up 2-0, the Baysox were back for another barrage in the top of the third as Waring and Guzman touched off back-to-back homers to push the Bowie lead to 4-0. It was Waring’s third home run and sixth RBI, as he paces the team in both categories.
The SeaWolves finally responded in the bottom of the third, with catcher Jeff Kunkel reaching second on a two-base error by left fielder Tyler Henson. Cale Iorg singled to put runners on the corners with no outs and Kunkel scored on a double play by second baseman Justin Henry. Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez grounded into a force out to end the inning.
Erie added another run in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to left by third baseman Audy Ciriaco to make it 4-2. Recently activated off of the SeaWolves disabled list, Ciriaco’s blast was the first home run charged to Tanaka this year, and his first with the SeaWolves.
Tanaka’s control started to waver in the sixth inning as he walked Erie outfielders Andy Dirks and Ramirez to start the frame. Scram hit a potential double play ball to shortstop but beat the throw to first, putting runners on the corners with one out. Right fielder Josh Burrus brought Dirks in with a single to center field that cut the Baysox lead to 4-3. Right-hander Pat Egan came on to relieve Tanaka and made quick work of the jam with a double play as Guzman scooped a ground ball that he fired to Florimon at second base, who whipped the ball back to Egan waiting at first.
Bowie added an insurance run in the top of the ninth as Jared Gayhart took the mound for Erie. Abreu singled to right field and advanced to second when Henson drilled another base hit to center field. Waring hit a ground ball to third base that Ciriaco could not handle and Abreu scored from second on the error.
That run turned out to be a luxury for the Baysox, as Egan went into lockdown, dominating the SeaWolves from the moment he toed the rubber. Egan was perfect in relief, with no hits, walks or struck batters, keeping the bases completely clear for three and two-thirds innings as he recorded his second save and the Baysox closed out their road trip with a win.
The Baysox come home to kick off a home stand against the Akron Aeros and Erie that begins Thursday at 7:05 p.m. The games against Akron on April 23 and April 24 feature the Baysox signature fireworks celebration after the game, presented by Educational Systems Federal Credit Union.