The Richmond Flying Squirrels racked up 10 hits and struck out the Baysox 11 times as they beat Bowie 4-0 Thursday night to avoid the three-game sweep. The loss drops the Baysox to 26-29 on the season.
The Baysox put up just two runs in the game and failed to score for the tenth time this season. Richmond starter Ryan Verdugo struck out 10 batters in eight innings of work, which was the most strikeouts by one opposing pitcher so far this season. Verdugo had some help from his defense, who stole several potential Baysox hits with nice plays in the field.
“Early in the game, [Pedro] Florimon hit a ball off his foot, [LJ] Hoes hit one down the line and the guy makes a nice play, [Caleb] Joseph pulls a ball they make a nice play, [Steve] Lerud gets robbed by their center fielder,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “I wasn’t concerned too early on about our swings, but later in the game he [Ryan Verdugo] made some adjustments and we didn’t.”
Right-handed starting pitcher Zach Clark pitched eight innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out four, but earned his second loss in a row.
“I just never really got comfortable,” Clark said. “I never really felt solid, I just wasn’t comfortable. I walked three guys which is kind of weird for me. I usually know where the ball is going. I just didn’t feel like I was on top of things like I usually am. I got in a nice little rhythm – I had times where I threw all right, but overall I just wasn’t comfortable like I usually am.”
Richmond jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning. With one out Charlie Culberson hit a single to left field, then advanced to third base on a Nick Noonan single where Noonan advanced to second on a throwing error by left fielder L.J. Hoes. With the next batter Drew Biery at the plate, Culberson scored on a passed ball and Noonan went to third. After Biery was retired, Jose Flores knocked in the second run of the inning on a single to left field to give the Flying Squirrels a 2-0 lead.
Richmond tacked on two more runs in the ninth inning. Flores led off with a single through the hole at shortstop and then Clark was replaced by left-handed reliever Cole McCurry. McCurry struck out the next two batters and Flores advanced to second on a wild pitch before Ryan Lormand knocked him in with a single to center field. After a Skyler Stromsmoe single, Justin Christian reached on an error by third baseman Buck Britton that allowed Lormand to score from second and make the score 4-0.
McCurry pitched one inning and allowed one unearned run on two hits while striking out two. Since the run was unearned, McCurry was able to decrease his team-leading ERA to 0.32 in 28 and one-third innings pitched.
In nine stolen base attempts against Clark this season, runners have been successful only twice. Part of that may be because of Clark’s ability to pick off batters. Clark uses a tricky move that helps to set batters when they are thinking about stealing.
“You can kind of feel when they are going to go,” Clark explained. “Early, when the first guy gets on, my first pick isn’t going to be my best move. These guys have seen me, but the first time somebody sees me, I throw that lob, it’s kind of like a lefty making a bad move and then when they think that’s your best they will take a little more or get comfortable when they shouldn’t.”
Friday, RHP Chorye Spoone (0-2, 4.91) takes the mound for the Baysox as they begin a three game home series against the New Britain Rock Cats. His opponent will be RHP Liam Hendricks (4-2, 3.12).
The Baysox are home through Sunday, June 5. Several exciting promotions and theme nights are scheduled for the upcoming home stand, including 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.