The Baysox broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth inning and held off a rally by the Curve in the bottom of the ninth to beat Altoona 3-2 and move into first place in the Western Division at 23-22.
The Baysox outhit the Curve 9-5, but despite the hitting advantage, remained deadlocked at 2 before a ninth inning push gave Bowie the lead for good.
Opening Day starter Chorye Spoone returned to the Baysox after making his past eight starts with Triple-A Norfolk. The right-handed pitcher threw five and two-thirds innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits but did not factor into the decision.
For the second night in a row, the Baysox got off to a fast start, scoring in the first inning. Altoona pitcher Jared Hughes struggled early, walking center fielder Xavier Avery and second baseman Greg Miclat to start the game. After left fielder Robbie Widlansky popped out, designated hitter Caleb Joseph drove Avery in on a ground ball to center field to put the Baysox up 1-0.
The Baysox put a second run on the board in the top of the third inning again thanks to control issues by Hughes. Miclat and Widlansky both got on base after being hit by pitches and with Joseph batting, Miclat stole third where he scored when Joseph grounded into a double play to give the Baysox a 2-0 lead.
The Curve got one run back against Spoone in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Quincy Latimore drew a walk and with two outs, he moved to second on a throwing error by Spoone on a pickoff attempt. Jeremy Farrell plated Latimore with a ground ball single to third base to make the score 2-1.
Facing left-handed relief pitcher Pedro Viola, Altoona tied the ball game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Shelby Ford hit a lead off single to second base and he advanced to second base on a wild pitch. A sacrifice bunt by Brad Chalk moved Ford to third and a sacrifice fly to center field by Brock Holt scored Ford to tie the game. Right-handed relief pitcher Dan Klein entered for Viola to finish the inning.
With Michael Dubee in the game for Altoona, the Baysox took back the lead once-and-for-all in the top of the ninth inning. Third baseman Brandon Waring hit a lead off single to left field and Ford committed a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt by first baseman Billy Rowell that put runners on first and second. Pinch runner Carlos Rojas entered the game for Waring and a sacrifice bunt by Avery advanced the runners to second and third. After Miclat walked to load the bases, a sacrifice bunt by Widlansky scored Rojas to put the Baysox up 3-2 before Rowell was thrown out at third to end the inning.
Viola pitched one inning in relief of Spoone and allowed one earned run on one hit while striking out one. Klein pitched one and one-third innings and allowed just one hit as he struck out two on the way to earning his second win of the season. Right-handed closer Jose Diaz entered to pitch the ninth inning and recorded his 14th save of the season. This marks the third time this season that Diaz has recorded saves in back-to-back games.
Widlansky extended his team leading hitting streak to eight games, but Miclat’s streak ended at seven though he still got on base three times after drawing two walks and being hit by a pitch. Miclat went on to score one of the Baysox runs and leads the team with 25 runs scored. Avery was able to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
A night after driving in four of the team’s seven runs, Widlansky and Joseph were at it again, driving in two of the team’s three runs. Widlansky leads the team with 27 RBIs this season and has driven in 10 runs in the past eight games.
Wednesday, RHP Wynn Pelzer (1-4, 3.38) will take the mound for the Baysox as they take on the Curve in a game starting at 10:30 a.m. His opponent will be RHP Michael Colla (2-1, 2.65).
The Baysox began an eight-game road trip starting Monday, May 23, but return home for a seven game homestand Tuesday, May 31. 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.