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Baysox One-Hit Squirrels

| June 01, 2011, 06:33 AM | 0 Comments

Right-handed starting pitcher Steve Johnson threw eight one hit innings as the Baysox ended their five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels Tuesday evening. With the win, the Baysox are now 25-28 on the season.

Johnson’s eight innings were a season-high and he allowed just two earned runs on one hit while tying his season-high with seven strikeouts. Johnson leads the team with 48 strikeouts this season.

“I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes; I was consistent with my fastball and I was able to put it where I wanted it,” Johnson said. “They were really aggressive and I was able to get a lot of quick outs so I was able to go deeper into the game.”

Bowie native, left fielder L.J. Hoes made his debut at Prince George’s Stadium Tuesday night and gave the fans a show as he recorded a double and what would eventually be the winning run.

“It was great,” Hoes said. “I’ve been thinking about this since I was a kid. I used to come out here when I was six, seven, eight years old – back then if you wore your jersey you got in for free – with my Dad and watch Luis Matos and Matt Riley and some of the other guys. Getting back out here, I was very nervous this morning, I got up early this morning because I couldn’t really sleep and I knew I had a lot of friends and family coming out to the game.”

The Baysox got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth inning facing Richmond starter Daryl Maday.  With one out, right fielder Ronnie Welty drew a walk and then moved over to second on a ground out by Hoes.  First baseman Billy Rowell then knocked in the first run of the game on a single to right field to give the Baysox a 1-0 lead.

The Flying Squirrels struck back in the top of the fifth inning.  Justin Christian led off with a walk and was the first batter of the game to reach base against Johnson.  Then after Johnson got the next two batters out, Roger Kieschnick blasted a two-run home run to right field to give the Flying Squirrels a 2-1 lead.

Bowie answered right back in the bottom of the fifth inning.  With two outs and no one on base center fielder Xavier Avery tied up the game with his first home run of the season to center field on a 2-1 pitch.

In the sixth inning, the Baysox took the lead back.  Hoes doubled to right field with two outs and then Rowell reached on a throwing error by shortstop Nick Noonan that pulled first baseman Drew Biery off the bag.  On the play, Hoes came all the way around from second base to score the go ahead run and make the score 3-2.

“You never know what will happen on a slow roller – the guy could throw it in the stands or overthrow the first baseman,” Hoes said. “Luckily he made a bad throw and I was still running hard around third base and [Field Coach] Einar [Diaz] was doing a good job of waving me home and the guy made a bad throw to first base and I had a full head of steam going home and when the guy threw it home, luckily I beat the tag.”

The Baysox tacked on another run in the seventh inning.  Shortstop Pedro Florimon led off the inning with his fourth home run of the season to right field that extended the lead to 4-2.

Right-handed reliever Jose Diaz recorded his Eastern League leading 16th save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning in Tuesday’s win. Diaz recorded 16 total saves in 2010 and has reached the mark after 53 games in 2011.

The Baysox out-hit the Squirrels 9-to-1 in Tuesday’s win. Avery was responsible for three of those hits, including his home run in the fifth inning. Avery, who is the lead off hitter in the batting order, also laid down two successful bunts that helped move runners into scoring position.

“Me and [Hitting Coach] Denny [Hocking] worked on my technique a bit – disguising it a little longer so it would be harder for the third baseman to pick it up so that’s been a lot of my game and I’ve been working to make it a harder play for the third baseman to make,” Avery said.

Bowie’s offense has struggled to puts runs across with runners in scoring position for much of the season and it looked like that trend was going to continue as the Baysox failed to score with runners in position and less than two outs in the first and third innings. Things changed in the middle of the game as the Baysox first three runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings came with two outs.

“Early in the game we had some situations to drive in runs with one out and we really put the runners right where we needed to be and failed to come up with them, which was frustrating,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “I’m glad our guys stuck to it – two out hits are difficult and we’ve been doing almost as well with two outs as with no outs and one out. We just need to have some better at bats because that game didn’t need to be as close as it was so we need to improve in that department, but we did get some big two out hits.”

Wednesday, LHP Rick Zagone (1-4, 5.20) takes the mound for the Baysox against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. His opponent will be LHP Clayton Tanner (1-5, 4.84).

The Baysox are home through Sunday, June 5. Several exciting promotions and theme nights are scheduled for the upcoming home stand, including Golf Night, Wednesday, June 1, Harry Potter Party, Friday, June 3, Negro League Tribute Night, Saturday, June 4 and Educator Appreciation Day with special guest Dennis Haskins aka Mr. Belding, Sunday, June 5. 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.

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