Seven different Baysox players recorded multi-hit games as the Baysox capped their best month of the season with an 11-8 victory over New Britain Sunday. First baseman Joe Mahoney led the way with three hits, including two triples, and four RBIs in the contest. With the win, the Baysox improve to 59-48 on the season, 1.0 game behind the Harrisburg Senators and half a game behind the Richmond Flying Squirrels for third place in the Western Division.
The victory capped an impressive month for Bowie. The team lead the Eastern League in victories (21), batting average (.294) and earned run average (3.49) and was the only squad to lose less than 10 games in the month. Three players played in at least 28 games in July and hit over .300 for the month: left fielder LJ Hoes (.349), second baseman Greg Miclat (.327) and shortstop Pedro Florimon (.320). On the mound, starting pitchers Tim Bascom and Mike Ballard combined to go 7-1 with a 2.09 ERA over 78.1 innings in 11 combined starts.
Bowie’s 12-run effort Sunday began with a run in the top of the first inning. Hoes drew a two out walk and scored on Mahoney’s first triple to right field as the Baysox took a 1-0 lead.
New Britain answered with three runs in the bottom of the first inning against Baysox starter Rick Zagone. Brian Dozier led off with a single to left field and advanced to third base when Yangervis Solarte followed with a double to left. Joe Benson was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Dozier and Solarte both scored when Chris Parmelee singled to right field. Zagone struck out Deibinson Romero for the first out of the inning but walked Jair Fernandez to load the bases again. Evan Bigley grounded out to shortstop, plating Benson to give the Rock Cats a 3-1 lead before Mark Dolenc grounded out to end the inning.
The Baysox responded with two-out runs in the second and third innings. Catcher Steve Lerud lined a two-out single to center field in the top of the second inning and moved to second base when right fielder Ronnie Welty walked. Center fielder Xavier Avery delivered an RBI single to left field to cut the deficit to one run. In the top of the third inning, Mahoney hit a one-out infield single to second base, moved to second base when designated hitter Caleb Joseph drew a walk and advanced to third base on an infield single by Florimon. With two outs and the bases loaded, Mahoney scored on a wild pitch with Lerud batting to tie the game at 3-3.
The tie was short-lived as Benson helped put New Britain back in front in the bottom of the third inning. Benson led off the frame with a ground rule double to left field, advanced to third base on a fly out by Parmelee and scored on an infield single to third base off the bat of Romero.
After a scoreless fourth inning, both teams added a pair of runs in the fifth stanza. In the top half of the inning, Hoes led off with a walk and stole second base with one out. Third baseman Brandon Waring doubled to left field to plate Hoes and scored when Joseph singled to left field, briefly putting Bowie in front 5-4. In the bottom half of the inning, Parmelee hit a one-out single to right field before Romero hit a two-run home run to left field. Zagone walked the next batter and was relieved by right-hander Wynn Pelzer. Pelzer threw a pair of wild pitches in the inning but retired both batters he faced in the fifth to escape the inning with Bowie trailing 6-5.
Bowie regained the lead with three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Second baseman Buck Britton hit a one out single off Rock Cats reliever Andrew Albers and advanced to third base when Hoes singled to right field. Mahoney drove in the first run of the inning with a ground out to shortstop as Britton scored and Hoes was retired at second on the play. Waring followed with a triple to center field as Mahoney scored, and Joseph capped the scoring with a single to center field, plating Waring to give Bowie an 8-6 advantage.
The Rock Cats added another run in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Gary Cates reached on a fielding error by Waring to open the inning and moved to third on a one-out double by Solarte. Benson lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, plating Cates and cutting the Baysox lead to 8-7.
After being held scoreless for the second time in the seventh inning, the Baysox added three more runs in the top of the eighth inning. Facing Rock Cats reliever Brett Jacobson, Britton led off with a single to center field, and was safe at second base as Hoes reached on a fielder’s choice. Miclat pinch ran for Britton, and both Miclat and Hoes scored when Mahoney lined a triple to right field. Waring and Joseph hit back-to-back ground outs for the first two outs of the inning before Florimon delivered a two-out ground rule double to push Mahoney across and give the Baysox an 11-7 lead.
New Britain answered with one final run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Cates drew a lead off walk against Baysox reliever Armando Gabino and went to second base on a wild pitch. Cates scored on a single by Solarte and another single by Benson put runners on first and second before Gabino retired Parmelee and Romero to end the inning.
Bowie added a final insurance run in the top of the ninth inning. Welty led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Avery. Hoes hit a two-out single to left field to score Welty and give the Baysox a 12-8 lead, before right-hander Raul Rivero retired the Rock Cats in order in the bottom of the ninth inning to seal the victory.
Zagone did not factor in the decision after allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks over 4.1 innings of work. Pelzer earned the victory and improved to 5-7 after holding the Rock Cats to one unearned run on one hit over 1.2 innings of work. Gabino earned a hold, allowing one run on three hits over 2.0 innings before Rivero worked a flawless ninth inning. It was the second time in the Baysox last 13 games that no save was recorded.
The Baysox 16 hits were three short of the season high, while their three triples were the most the team has hit this season. Mahoney is the first Baysox player to hit more than one triple in a game this year, and it is the first time he has accomplished the feat in his career. He now has 15 three-baggers in his career.
The Baysox return home Tuesday, Aug. 2, for a seven game home stand in six days. The home stand features Tailgate Tuesday and Free Food Tuesday, 105.7 The Fan Night with the Scott Garceau bobblehead giveaway, Girls Baseball Night Saturday featuring players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the Baysox Un-Birthday Bash Sunday, Aug. 7.
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.