The Bowie Baysox gave up five unearned runs in a single inning en route to a 9-7 loss to the Erie SeaWolves on a chilly, blustery Wednesday night at Prince George’s Stadium. The loss drops Bowie to 12-8, a game and a half behind Altoona for the Western Division lead.
Starting pitcher Tim Bascom took his first loss of the year with eight runs, four earned, off eight hits in five and two-thirds innings. He endured his roughest stretch early in the game, giving up a one-out double to Erie center fielder Wilkin Ramirez that left fielder Andy Dirks followed with a powerful blast over the right field wall to put the Baysox in a 2-0 hole.
“The first couple innings, I didn’t really have anything going my way,” Bascom said. “Nothing was really working, I couldn’t repeat my delivery.”
Erie tacked on another run in the second inning after first baseman Michael Bertram led off with a double. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Max St. Pierre and shortstop Cale Iorg sent him home with a single to center.
In the top of the third inning, Baysox second baseman Ryan Adams scooped up a lead-off grounder by Dirks and tried to whip the ball over to first for a close out, but he ended up throwing it out of play. Dirks was credited with an infield single and moved to second on the error. The ‘Wolves pounced on the mistake, hitting two more singles off Bascom to plate Dirks and push the score to 4-0.
Bascom seemed to settle down after that, cruising through the fourth and fifth innings as he sat down the SeaWolves batters in order, at one point retiring nine straight.
“I was struggling to find my command early on but as the game went on, I felt pretty good,” Bascom said. “Every start this year so far I’ve gotten better as the game goes on, so I’m happy about that.”
Fortunately for the Baysox, Bascom started to find his form right around the same time the batters did as first baseman Robbie Widlansky hit a double to lead off the bottom of the fourth. He moved to third on Danny Figueroa’s infield single and scored off shortstop Pedro Florimon’s groundball single to right field.
The Baysox added two more runs in the fifth when left fielder Tyler Henson drove a ball deep to center field to plate Adams with a triple and he scored off Brandon Waring’s no-out single. Things were looking up for the Baysox, who have come from behind to win five games this season, with the score at 4-3 heading into the decisive sixth inning.
With one out and Bertram on first base with a walk, St. Pierre hit a potential double play grounder up the middle. Florimon went to make an easy flip to second base, but failed to come up with the ball when he reached down to scoop it and both runners were safe. Bascom’s game unraveled from there as he proceeded to walk Iorg to load the bases before Erie outfielder Josh Burrus sent all three runners across the plate with a bases-clearing double that was Bascom’s final pitch of the game. Adding insult to injury, reliever Jim Hoey’s first pitch was sent screaming back at left field for a two-run homer by Ramirez. All five runs were unearned and when the dust settled, the SeaWolves had expanded their lead to 9-3.
The Baysox refused to quit, as Henson drove in two more runs in the bottom of the sixth with a double that plated Adams and Danny Figueroa, bringing his RBI total to a team-best 14. Bowie’s bats were hot again with 14 hits Wednesday, after managing just three hits in Tuesday’s loss.
Outfielder Miguel Abreu made one last dent in the SeaWolves’ lead with a solo-shot home run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was too little, too late as Erie went on to win 9-7.
“You’re going to win some games like that, and you’re going to lose some, apparently,” Henson said. “We’ve got a great club here. Unfortunately, Erie’s hitting the ball well too, and they’re hitting them with runners on base and we’re not. Pitching was up-and-down a little bit, but it’s been there, it’s going to be there, so we’ll win a lot more games.”
The Baysox hope to reverse their recent losing trend Thursday morning in the final game of the series with Erie, which begins at 11:05 a.m.