May 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 81 F

Baysox Swing And Miss In Opener

Bowie batters struck out 15 times as the Baysox lost to the Harrisburg Senators 5-0 Thursday in Harrisburg on Opening Night. The Baysox put runners on second base with no outs in each of the first two innings, but were unable to push either across.

In the first inning, leadoff hitter and center fielder Xavier Avery reached on a single and then stole second, but Senators starting pitcher Brad Meyers struck out the next three batters to leave Avery stranded. In the second inning, left fielder Robbie Widlansky hit a leadoff double, but again Meyers was able to retire the next three Baysox batters.

Baysox pitchers walked eight batters in the contest. Right-handed starting pitcher Chorye Spoone threw two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third. Spoone walked Jonathan Tucker and Steve Lombardozzi to open the frame before striking out Derek Norris. Tyler Moore then hit a single that scored Tucker and advanced Lombardozzi to third.

Buck Coats followed with a single that scored Lombardozzi and advanced Tyler Moore to second. Spoone struck out Jesus Valdez for the second out of the inning, but then walked Bill Rhinehart to load the bases and Tim Pahuta to score Moore. Spoone struck out Josh Johnson to end the inning.

“The first two innings, I think I walked the one guy, but I was in the zone, Spoone said. “I’m not sure what happened going into the third.  I guess I got a little quick, I didn’t feel like myself.  A couple of the guys told me that it looked like I was getting a little quick, getting a little ahead of myself.”

Right-handed reliever Ryohei Tanaka took over for Spoone in the fourth inning.  After Tucker flew out to right field, Lombardozzi reached first base on a fielding error by first baseman Joe Mahoney. Tanaka then walked Norris and a wild pitch during Moore’s at bat advanced both runners. Moore would ground out, but not before Lombardozzi scored to make the game 4-0. Tanaka ended the inning by getting Coats to fly out to center field.

With two outs in the fifth, the Baysox started showing signs of life after a bunt single by shortstop Pedro Florimon and a base hit by right fielder Ronnie Welty put runners on first and second. However, the inning ended with no runs for the Baysox after Johnson, the shortstop, made a diving catch on a hit by Avery and got the force out at second.

“We had an opportunity to score and then the shortstop makes a nice play,” said Baysox Manager Gary Kendall. “We could’ve maybe gotten on the board and stayed in the ballgame, but that didn’t happen.”

Right-handed pitcher Tim Bascom entered in the sixth inning and retired the side in order. Right-handed reliever Wynn Pelzer entered in the seventh and allowed a run on a double play by Coats that scored Norris who had reached base after being hit by a pitch.

Meyers threw five innings for the Senators and struck out nine while only allowing four hits. He was replaced by Henry Rodriguez, who is with the Senators on a Major League rehab assignment, in the sixth inning. Rodriguez compiled three more strikeouts and did not allow a hit in two innings of work.

[Meyers] kept the ball down, he changed speeds and he had effective breaking balls and changeups,” Kendall said. “We were a little tardy on some fastballs early in the game and then when he started whipping out his breaking ball and changeup he got even tougher. In the middle of the game they brought in Rodriguez, on Major League Rehab, he had a quick arm and threw the ball in the mid 90s. He looks like he is ready to go back to where he belongs.”

Coming back from shoulder surgery, Spoone threw 132.0 innings last year, but made his last start August 19, three weeks before the end of the season. This season, Spoone believes he is back to 100 percent and hopes to put in a full season of work for the first time since 2007.

“My goal is to throw at least 160 [innings],” Spoone said. “If I’m going to remain a starter the whole year, I’d like to hit the 160 mark by the end of the season. I’d be happy with that.”

Opening Day was the first game of the season for everyone on the team, but for Welty, it was his first game at the Double-A level. Welty recorded one of just five hits by the Baysox, but admitted to feeling anxious in the opener and has some things he will work on improving in tomorrow’s game.

“I will probably just attack the fastball a little earlier in the count,” Welty said. “A lot of guys were letting good fastballs go by, including myself, so tomorrow I’m going to focus on hitting that first good fastball.”

Kendall echoed the concerns that Opening Day jitters may have affected the offense and believes that better preparation for Friday’s game will help the team put any worries behind them. The team’s 15 strikeouts were the most since 17 Baysox struck out at Trenton on August 18.

“Hopefully it was a case of the Opening Day jitters,” Kendall said. “Offensively, we have to be more prepared. We weren’t really prepared early in the ball game; we were tardy on some pitches. From a pitching standpoint we can’t walk as many guys as we did. When you look out on the board and you see us having five hits and them having four hits, you don’t expect five runs on the board.”

The Baysox open their first home stand at Prince George’s Stadium Thursday, April 14, at 7:05 p.m.  Friday, April 15, is Outdoorsman Night at the stadium, and Saturday is Betty White Tribute Night with postgame fireworks.

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