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Baysox Comeback Stuns SeaWolves

| April 18, 2011, 07:52 AM | 0 Comments

The Baysox trailed by seven runs in the first game of a doubleheader at home against Erie on Sunday, but would come back to win after an eight-run inning put them up 11-7. The Baysox would not have as much luck in the second game as they fell to the SeaWolves 2-1 in eight innings to fall to 5-5 on the season.

The bullpen was once again dominant in the first game after replacing right-handed starting pitcher Oliver Drake, who threw two and two-third innings and allowed seven earned runs on six hits in his debut with the Baysox. Right-handed reliever Cole McCurry and left-handed reliever Pedro Viola threw five shutout innings in relief while striking out five.

“[Cole] struggled a little but when he first came in, but after those first three hitters he really zeroed in and pitched much better and gave us some big innings,” said Pitching coach Kennie Steenstra. “We’re a little thin in the bullpen with all these extra inning games and doubleheaders and he did a nice job of saving the bullpen a little bit there.”

The SeaWolves scored all seven of their runs on five hits in the top of the third inning. Jamie Johnson hit a lead off triple and Brandon Douglas hit a two-run homer to start the inning. Over the next five batters, right-handed starting pitcher Oliver Drake walked two and allowed three hits as the SeaWolves scored three more runs to take the lead 5-0. McCurry replaced Drake, but got off to a rough start issuing two walks and hitting a batter to give Erie two more runs. McCurry then recovered to record three straight outs without allowing another run to score, but not before the SeaWolves had jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead.

“Early on he was throwing too many pitches to too many hitters, working some deep counts even the first time through the line-up,” Steenstra said. “He ended up getting out of trouble in the first two innings, but they got to see a lot of him because he fouled off a lot of pitches and I think that second time through they had a better read on him. He made some mistakes up in the zone and they made him pay for it a little bit.”

Bowie began chipping away at the SeaWolves lead with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning. First baseman Brandon Waring started the inning by doubling to right field and designated hitter Robbie Widlansky followed with an infield single to short to put runners on first and second. Right fielder Ronnie Welty struck out, but catcher Caleb Joseph hit an RBI double to left field that scored Waring and moved Widlansky to third. Shortstop Pedro Florimon drew a walk to put runners on the corners and center fielder Miguel Abreu reached on a fielding error that would also allow Widlansky to score. Third baseman Carlos Rojas grounded out, but Joseph scored on the play and the inning ended when second baseman Greg Miclat struck out.

“We were just stringing some hits together,” Joseph said. “This team is capable of really putting a lot of runs on. The first couple games this season you didn’t really see it, but I think you’re starting to see what’s going to be normal for this team. The good thing about this team is we are capable of scoring five or six runs in an inning if we are really swinging it well.”

The Baysox completed their largest comeback since April 23, 2010 vs. Akron on the heels of an eight-run fifth inning. Cory Hamilton entered the game for Erie and allowed the first six batters of the inning to reach base and eventually score. Welty picked up an RBI on a single to left field, Joseph recorded an RBI after reaching first safely because of a fielding error by shortsop Audy Ciriaco. The SeaWolves commited two errors in the inning and while the Baysox scored eight runs, only two of them were earned. After facing eight batters and getting only one out, Hamilton was replaced by Austin Wood who would surrender a three-run home run to left fielder Jeff Fiorentino that would give the Baysox a season-high 11 runs and put them ahead for good.

“We kind of did the same thing we did the other day – we got behind, our relief pitchers came in, we gave up seven in the third and then we shut them out for the last four innings,” Fiorentino said. “It was a first pitch fastball, but I had two at bats against the guy a couple days ago so I made some adjustments, remembered the way he threw and how he pitched me and was looking for a good pitch and I got it.”

Right-handed pitcher Tim Bascom kicked it off for the Baysox in game two and after getting into some trouble in the first inning, threw six and two-thirds strong innings. Bascom’s outing was the longest for any starting pitcher so far this season and at one point in the middle of the game he retired eight batters in a row and 11 of 12 overall.

“I didn’t have much feel and control with them all, but I just had to go out there and battle and try and get outs for my team,” said Bascom. “When you don’t have the touch and the feel that you want to have, you take every batter one at a time and try to gets outs as quick as you can.”

Bascom started off the game by retiring Johnson and Douglas, but then surrendered a single through the hole at shortstop to Michael Bertram. Bryan Pounds then hit an RBI double to right field that scored Bertram to put Erie up 1-0 after the first inning.

The Baysox responded with a run of their own in the fifth after first baseman Billy Rowell led off the inning with a single to right field. Catcher Steve Lerud singled through the hole at second for his first hit of the season, but was then caught stealing second base. Rowell stole third base during second baseman Carlos Rojas’ at bat and scored when Rojas hit a single to left field. Center fielder Xavier Avery singled to center field, but Florimon and Waring would both strike out to end the inning with the game tied 1-1.

The game, originally scheduled for seven innings, extended to eight with the teams tied at one, but a lead off home run by Johnson, who was facing Baysox right-handed closer Jose Diaz would be the game-winner.

Monday is Mutt Monday where fans can bring their dog to the game and Tuesday is Tailgate Tuesday with $2 draft beers in the Bud Light Picnic Pavilion. The home stand ends with Pie Day on Wednesday.

Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 19th season as the class Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is underway.  They played their first game at Prince George’s Stadium Thursday, April 14, at 7:05 p.m and are at home through April 20.  Parking is free at every Baysox home game and tickets are now available at www.baysox.com.

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