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Baysox Unable To Stop Late Senators Rally

| April 10, 2011, 06:35 PM | 0 Comments

Right-handed starting pitcher Rick Zagone and the Baysox got off to a fast start Sunday on the road against the Harrisburg Senators, but three fielding errors in the ninth inning allowed the Senators to come from behind and steal a 4-3 win.

Zagone threw five stellar innings in his first start of the season. He did not surrender a hit until the fourth inning and allowed only two hits total, while striking out two and walking none. Zagone was the first starting pitcher this season for the Baysox not to issue a walk.

Leading 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth and on track for their second consecutive win, fielding betrayed the Baysox late in the game. With right-handed reliever Jose Diaz entering to pitch the ninth inning, Tyler Moore reached first on a fielding error by third baseman Brandon Waring. Devin Ivany and Buck Coats then reached to load the bases after two fielding errors by Diaz on their sacrifice bunts. After striking out Jesus Valdez, Diaz surrendered a single to Adam Fox that scored Moore to tie the game and keep the bases loaded. Archie Gilbert would then hit the game-winning RBI single that scored Ivany.

The Baysox were up 2-0 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, but were unable to hold off a late rally by the Senators that resulted in four runs and a come-from-behind win. Pitching his third inning of relief, right-handed pitcher Zach Clark surrendered two runs in the bottom of the eighth. The Baysox were able to rally and score a run in the top of the ninth, but it would not be enough to hold off Harrisburg.

Center fielder Xavier Avery opened the game with a double, his second lead off hit in three games, before second baseman Greg Miclat struck out for the first out of the inning. While left fielder Jeff Fiorentino was batting, a wild pitch by Senators starting pitcher Luis Atliano advanced Avery to third. Fiorentino would then hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Avery for the first run of the game. Waring popped out to end the inning.

The Baysox started off strong again in the second inning after Atilano issued a lead off walk to designated hitter Robbie Widlansky. With catcher Caleb Joseph batting second, a passed ball by Senators catcher Ivany advanced Widlansky to second. Joseph would ultimately fly out to left field, but right fielder Ronnie Welty then hit a single to move Widlansky to third. Billy Rowell, starting his first game at first base, got his first hit and RBI of the season when he pushed Widlansky across and moved Welty to second with only one out.

With runners on first and second, shortstop Carlos Rojas grounded into a force out at second, but managed to advance Welty to third while arriving safely at first. Avery would then ground out to end the inning, but not before the Baysox had grabbed another early 2-0 lead.

The Senators fought back into the game in the ninth inning against Clark. Clark retired Coats and Valdez for two quick outs to open the inning, but then ran into some trouble when he walked Fox. Gilbert then singled and advanced Fox to second. Pinch-hitting for Josh Johnson, Tim Pahuta hit a single to left field that scored Fox and advanced Gilbert to third. Jonathan Tucker then reached first on a bunt single that scored Gilbert and advanced Pahuta to second. Clark would finish the inning by getting Steve Lombardozzi to fly out to center field, but not before the Senators had tied up the ballgame.

Bowie answered the bell and came right back in the ninth inning with another run to regain the lead. Pahuta entered the game at third base and set off a string of defensive moves for Harrisburg. Widlansky opened the inning with a double off Erik Arnesen and was replaced by pinch-runner Pedro Florimon. A successful sacrifice bunt by Joseph advanced Florimon to third with one out and the Senators opted to intentionally walk Welty to put runners on the corners. With new pitcher Patrick McCoy on the mound, Rowell grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Florimon for the go-ahead run, but got Welty out at second. Rojas would end the inning by grounding into another force out that would get Rowell at second for the third out.

After striking out 28 times in the first two games, Bowie’s hitters did a better job making contact on Sunday. The Baysox struck out only four times, while getting seven hits and drawing three walks. Baysox pitchers also displayed much improved control on the mound, issuing only one walk during the course of the game, after surrendering 13 in their first two games.

Rowell finished the game with one hit and two RBIs, his first two RBIs at the Double-A level. Widlansky hit his second double of the season and his two hits gave him his first multi-hit game of the season.

After recording the first save of the season last night for the Baysox, Diaz was credited with a blown save and a loss on Sunday. Clark was also credited with a blown save as the Senators tied the game in the eighth inning during his final inning of the game on the mound.

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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