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Baysox Use Wild Pitches To Win

| April 30, 2011, 09:39 AM | 0 Comments

The Baysox came back from a four run deficit to top the Richmond Flying Squirrels 8-7 at home Friday night. Bowie got some help from the Richmond pitching staff as three of their runs scored on wild pitches. The win moves Bowie to 11-10 on the season.

Catcher Caleb Joseph and first baseman Joe Mahoney hit home runs in back to back innings to bring the Baysox back from down four and put the team in the lead. Joseph’s three-run blast was his second homer of the season and Mahoney’s solo shot was his first.

“We could have just folded it up, but our guys didn’t, they made some things happen,” Manager Gary Kendall said. “Joseph’s three-run homer got us right back in it and then we picked up a run here and there. It was just a really good night. I’m happy for the guys.”

Richmond got on top of right-handed starting pitcher Mitch Atkins early in the game. In his first start for the Baysox, Atkins got Justin Christian to fly out to center field, but then walked Nick Noonan. Charlie Culberson then hit a double to left-center field that plated Noonan to give the Flying Squirrels an early 1-0 lead. Atkins got out of the inning without allowing any more runs.

The Flying Squirrels extended the lead in the second inning. Roger Kieschnick hit a lead off single to left-center field and Matt McBryde followed with a triple to right field that would push Kieschnick across. The trouble would continue for Atkins when Jose Flores singled to left field to score McBryde. With Richmond leading 3-0, Atkins retired the next two batters and induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Bowie got one run back in the bottom of the third inning. Shortstop Pedro Florimon opened the inning by being hit by a pitch from lefty Clayton Tanner and moved to second on a ground out by third baseman Carlos Rojas. Second baseman Greg Miclat singled to right field with two outs and moved Florimon to third, where he would score on a wild pitch with left fielder Robbie Widlansky batting. Widlansky flied out to end the inning with the Baysox now trailing 3-1.

After a scoreless fourth inning, Richmond scored two more runs off Atkins in the fifth. Skyler Stromsmoe drew a walk and stole second before Christian hit a two-run blast to center field to put the Squirrels up 5-1. Noonan drew a walk and moved to second on a single to right field by Culberson, but Atkins would get out of the jam by striking out Joe Koshansky on the same pitch that Joseph threw out Noonan stealing third.

The Baysox continued to battle back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Florimon hit a single through the hole at shortstop with one out and was moved to second by Rojas who reached first on a fielding error by Noonan. Avery then grounded an RBI single into field to score Florimon and bring the Baysox to within three.

Richmond got the run right back in the top of the sixth thanks to Kieschnick, who walked to get on base and then stole second and third to get into scoring position. With Kieschnick on third, McBryde hit a sacrifice fly to left field that would score Kieschnick and put the Squirrels up 6-2.

After trailing the entire game, the Baysox mounted a strong comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning sparked by Joseph’s home run. Mahoney hit a lead off double to right field and designated hitter Brandon Waring followed with a walk. With two on and no one out, Joseph hit his home run to left field to bring the Baysox to within one. That was the end of the night for Tanner, who was replaced by Osiris Matos. Matos started off by striking out right fielder Ronnie Welty and Florimon, but then surrendered a single to Rojas. After falling behind 0-2 and fouling off five pitches, Avery hit a single up the middle that moved Rojas to third and into scoring position. With Miclat batting, a wild pitch by Otero plated Rojas to tie the game at 6-6. The inning would end when Miclat flied out.

“We battled to get back there,” Joseph said. “There was a lot of clutch hitting, guys really having good at bats. I don’t know how I hit it. It was a really good pitch down and in with two strikes. I was just trying to protect and I squared it up and it went out.”

After forcing themselves back into the game with a four-run sixth, the Baysox grabbed the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Mahoney, who is playing in just his fourth game after spending two weeks on the Disabled List, hit a solo home run to right-center field on an 0-1 pitch to give the Baysox a 7-6 lead.

“Early in the season, it’s hard to feel completely comfortable at the plate, but at about the 15 or 20 at bat mark I start to get a little more comfortable and that’s where I am so I feel good,” Mahoney said.”

The Baysox scored their third run courtesy of a wild pitch in the top of the eighth inning off the third pitcher they faced. With Edwin Quirarte on the mound, Florimon started the inning with a walk and a single through the hole at shortstop by Rojas moved him to second. A successful sacrifice bunt by Avery advanced the runners to second and third before Florimon was retired by a fielder’s choice at home. With Rojas on third and Widlansky batting, Quirarte threw the wild pitch that allowed Rojas to score and give the Baysox their largest lead of the game at 8-6.

After pitching the eighth inning, right-handed reliever Brandon Cooney returned in the top of the ninth to attempt the six-out save. Cooney started by getting Flores to ground out and striking out Strmsmoe, but ran into trouble after hitting Christian. After Christian advanced to second on defensive indifference, Noonan doubled to right field and scored Christian to bring the Squirrels to within one with a runner in scoring position. Cooney would get out of the inning and end the game by striking out Culberson.

Atkins was making his first start with the Baysox after making two starts with Advanced-A Frederick. Atkins, who signed with the Orioles as a free agent this past offseason, did not play during Spring Training because of an oblique injury. Formerly in the Chicago Cubs’ system, Atkins has made seven Major League appearances and spent part of the last three seasons at the Triple-A level or above.

“I felt good,” Atkins said. “There was a couple that barely got out of the infield and I left a couple balls up and they didn’t miss them. I’m scheduled to have one more start here [Bowie] before I move up to Triple-A. I threw about 100 pitches tonight and that’s the most I’ve thrown yet and I feel good.”

Atkins finished the game with six earned runs on six hits over six innings pitched while walking four and striking out five. Right-handed pitcher Tim Bascom threw one inning in relief and gave up one hit and struck out three batters as he earned the win. Cooney finished it off with two innings of worked where he allowed two hit and one run while striking out four.

The team returned home for a seven game home stand Thursday, April 29. The home stand features NASCAR Night with a Nationwide stock car and racecar simulator postgame fireworks Saturday, April 30, and Mustache Mania Wednesday, May 4. For more information on Baysox promotions and theme nights, visit www.baysox.com.

Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 19th season as the class Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is underway. Parking is free at every Baysox home game and tickets are now available at www.baysox.com.

Images: © 2011 Joe Messenger, The Messenger Image. Full gallery.

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