June 15, 2024
Annapolis, US 81 F

Rock Cats Pounce On Baysox

The Bowie Baysox lost to the New Britain Rock Cats 3-1 Saturday night at Prince George’s Stadium.  The Baysox recorded seven hits, the same number as the Rock Cats, but were unable to sustain a rally as each hit came in a different inning.

Left-hander Pedro Viola pitched well for the Baysox in his second start of the year, but was denied a win by the anemic offense, after giving up two runs on three hits through 5.0 innings.

“Viola did a nice job,” Pitching Coach Kennie Steenstra said.  “Any time you’ve got a guy that’s trying to convert from relief into starting and he goes out and gives you five innings, two runs, you’ll take that every time.  I think it’s making him use slider a little more and eventually I’d like to start seeing him using his changeup as well and mix in that third pitch.”

“The only thing that seemed be a little bit of an issue is he’s had trouble with that first inning [in both of his starts],” he said.  “We may have to lengthen out his routine a little bit or do something to get him a little more comfortable.”

New Britain earned all the runs they would need in the top of the first inning.  Highly touted Minnesota Twins prospect Ben Revere opened the game with a double to left-center and stole third base with Joe Benson batting.  Benson drew a one-out walk to put runners on the corners and advanced to second base on Chris Parmelee’s groundout to first base that brought Revere home for the opening run.  Benson scored on the next play when designated hitter Juan Portes lined a single to center field for a 2-0 Rock Cats lead.  Viola struck out second baseman Steve Singleton to end the inning.

After a shaky opening frame, Viola settled into a groove and retired 12 of 13 batters that came to the plate in his last four innings.  Viola finished with a good ratio of four strikeouts and one walk, leaving him with 34 punchouts and nine walks for the year.

The Baysox broke through on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning, when left fielder Tyler Henson led off with his 11th home run of the season, clearing the wall in center field to cut the deficit in half.

New Britain responded to the Baysox long ball with one of their own, when Parmelee launched reliever Ryohei Tanaka’s 1-2 pitch over the wall in right-center field, pushing the Rock Cats’ advantage to 3-1.

After Henson’s home run, the Baysox struggled to produce offensively, recording a single with one out in the sixth and seventh innings before squandering both chances by grounding into double plays.

Bowie nearly thrilled the home crowd of 6,875 with a rally in the bottom of the ninth, but their efforts fell short.  Designated hitter Ryan Adams lined a double down the left field line to start the inning, his 34th of the season as he closes in on the Baysox single-season record of 39 doubles.  Henson went down swinging before first baseman Joe Mahoney walked to bring the winning run to the plate.  Runners on first and second was as close as the Baysox would get, though, as third baseman Brandon Waring and catcher Steve Lerud both struck out looking to end the game.

The loss was made more frustrating by the fact that New Britain starter Mike McCardell walked out a winner for the first time this season, entering the game with a league-worst 0-12 record.

“I’m not going to take any credit away from [McCardell], but as a team we didn’t swing real well,” Henson said.  “It happens, it’s baseball.  He threw the ball ok to survive.  He made some good pitches to people.  Overall, we’re a little disappointed.  We knew we should have beat him but he got us tonight.”

The Baysox are now 58-49 on the year, but remain in second place in the Eastern League Western Division, 2.5 games behind the Altoona Curve.

Bowie’s four game series with the Rock Cats comes to a close Sunday at 6:05 p.m.  Sunday’s game features the finale of the Baysox Kids’ Summer Concert Series, with a pre-game performance by Rocknoceros and a special appearance by PBS’s Super Why and Alpha Pig.  Fans can purchase a $10 ticket for the Rocknoceros concert that includes a general admission seat for the game.

After their first day off since the All-Star break on Monday, the Baysox embark on their farthest road trip of the year for six games in Portland and New Hampshire.  They return Tuesday, August 10 for three games with the Boston Red Sox affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs.

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