Trailing by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Baysox scored two runs with two outs to come from behind and top the Flying Squirrels 5-4 Tuesday night. With the win, the Baysox improve to 16-16 on the season.
Left fielder Kyle Hudson was the hero after singling on a ground ball to left field that drove in shortstop Pedro Florimon for the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. After consulting with Hitting Coach Denny Hocking, Hudson was expecting something low and inside and swung away on the first pitch.
“I’m just looking for a pitch over the plate that I can drive,” Hudson said. “Denny Hocking was talking to me before the at bat and said that they were probably going to try to come in on me and they did and kind of left it over the plate a little bit. It wasn’t as far inside as I was looking for, but it was pretty close to down the middle of the plate and I just made solid contact with it and drove it through that hole. It’s a good feeling when you can do something like that.”
The late win snaps a three game losing streak for the Baysox where the offense has struggled to put runs on the board. Tuesday night, the offense was inconsistent – scoring in the first and last innings of the game, but it would be enough to come out victorious.
“It’s really nice to get the monkey off our back because some nights we’re not as bad as it looks,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “It’s just getting the hits and putting them together. I’m just glad we woke up at the end. It feels better to do something like that than to have to go out and protect a lead when it gets hairy like that because we’ve been on that end too. This was a much more relaxing win.”
After being shut out the night before, the Baysox struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Xavier Avery hit a lead off double to left field and a ground out by second baseman Greg Miclat moved him to third base. Third baseman Brandon Waring then reached on a fielding error by the second baseman that allowed Avery to score. First baseman Robbie Widlansky drove in two more runs when he hit a home run to left-center field to give the Baysox an early 3-0 lead.
“We’ve been struggling with the bats a little bit, but to get a couple runs early to get us going was good,” Widlansky said. “I’ve changed some things at the plate from working with the coaches and I’m trying to get some things going. Sometimes balls don’t fall, but I haven’t been striking out or anything and now the balls are starting to fall my way.”
After starting the game with three scoreless innings, the Flying Squirrels scored four runs on right-handed starting pitcher Tim Bascom in the middle of the game. Richmond’s first run came in the top of the fourth inning after a lead off single to left field by Charlie Culberson. Roger Kieschnick then doubled to left field and drove Culberson in to bring the Squirrels back to 3-1.
“I felt really good for the first four innings and then I felt like I might have been trying to do too much and got out of my comfort zone as the game went on,” Bascom said. “I felt like I kind of let them back in the game and if I had gone out there and thrown another zero in the fourth inning or the fifth inning it would’ve been a piece of cake outing for me. Other than my curveball all my other pitches felt good and I just went out there and tried to throw strikes.”
Richmond struck again in the top of the fifth inning after Justin Christian reaching base with a two out walk. Nick Noonan then doubled to left field and plated Christian to make the score 3-2. The Squirrels scored two more runs on Bascom in the top of the sixth inning before he was removed from the game. Kieschnick hit a lead off single to left field and scored when Joe Koshansky hit a two-run home run to right field to give Richmond its first lead of the game 4-3. Left-handed reliever Cole McCurry came in to finish the inning.
Bascom pitched five and one-third innings and allowed four earned runs on six hit while striking out six. McCurry earned the win with three and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief of Bascom, allowing the Baysox to mount a successful ninth inning comeback. With the win, McCurry is now 3-0 on the season, tied for the team lead in victories.
“He [Cole] did a really nice job, but he’s been doing that for us all year – getting the ball over the plate,” Kendall said. “He went out there and he competed and he kept us in the ballgame.”
Right fielder Ronnie Welty started the two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. After falling behind in the count 0-2, Welty took a ball and hit a 1-2 pitch down the left field line for a double. Florimon followed with an RBI double to left field, tying the game at 4-4. Steve Lerud pinch hit for catcher Adam Donachie and while he was batting, a wild pitch by Richmond closer Tim Stoffel allowed Florimon to take third base. Lerud was intentionally walked and Hudson grounded the first pitch he saw into left field for the game-winning RBI.
The Baysox offense really struggled to get hits and score runs during the team’s three game losing streak, but turned that around Tuesday night. After striking out 12 times Monday, Bowie batters struck out just six times Tuesday. The Baysox also managed nine hits after recording only three in Monday’s loss.
Designated hitter Caleb Joseph had another multi-hit game Tuesday, going 2-for-4 after recording two hits in three at bats Monday. Even as the offense as a whole has slumped, Joseph’s bat has been heating up over the past week.
Tomorrow the Baysox play a day game starting at 11:05 a.m. that will feature RHP Alfredo Simon (0-0, 5.40) taking the mound for the Baysox against LHP Ryan Verdugo (1-0, 2.16).
The Baysox are at home through Sunday, May 15, for a seven-game home stand that includes a Baysox Fleece Blanket Giveaway Thursday, May 5, Fireworks and Ghostbusters Night Friday, May 13, Fireworks and Fairy Tale Night Saturday, May 14, and Bark in the Park Sunday, May 15. 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.