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Machado Starts Season With A Bang

| April 06, 2012, 12:56 PM | 1 Comment
Bowie Baysox

The Baysox highly rated shortstop Manny Machado got the team’s 20th season started in style when he hit a solo home run on the first pitch of his first Double-A at-bat. Bowie went on to win 4-2 on Opening Night.

Right-handed starting pitcher Tim Bascom, the Orioles 2011 Minor League Pitcher of the year, threw six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits as he shut down the Senators. Despite the Senators using both Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel, who were making Major League rehab appearances, Bascom dominated on the mound to get his first win of the season.

“There are a few things I could have done differently, but overall I can’t complain,” Bascom said. “My fastball was cutting a little bit to start the game – I was a little amped up; trying to do a little bit too much, but once it settled in everything got under control.”

Machado got the Baysox on the board first with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. The home run came against Senators starting pitcher Robert Gilliam on the first pitch of his first Double-A at bat.

“It was just a good swing,” Machado said. “I was taking advantage because I saw that he was throwing a first pitch fastball to everybody so I just went up there and I knew he was going to throw me a fastball. I am 19 years old so I know he’s going to attack me and a lot of guys are going to come challenge me up here so I just try to take advantage of it.”

One of the Baysox other highly touted prospects, second baseman Jonathan Schoop, helped extend the Baysox lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Schoop hit a lead off double to center field and scored after a single by center fielder Antoan Richardson that was followed by a wild throw. Richardson moved to third on a wild pitch and after consecutive Baysox batters were retired, right fielder Robbie Widlansky singled up the middle to plate Richardson and give the Baysox a 3-0 lead.

Third baseman Buck Britton hit the Baysox second home run of the night in the bottom of the seventh inning against right-handed pitcher Kevin Pucetas to give the Baysox a 4-0 lead.

Harrisburg got on the board for the first time in the top of the eighth inning. With one out, right-handed reliever Stu Pomeranz walked Josh Johnson who stole second base and moved to third on a single by Jeff Kobernus. With Jesus Valdez batting, Kobernus stole second base and later in the at-bat after a passed ball by catcher Caleb Joseph, Johnson scored to make the score 4-1.

Harrisburg continued their rally in the top of the ninth against right-handed reliever Ross Wolf. Chris Rahl hit a lead off home run to left-center field to make the score 4-2. After a groundout, Tim Pahuta doubled to left field, but Wolf was able to retire the last two batters to earn the save and end the game.

The Baysox defense made a number of impressive plays during the game that helped to protect the team’s lead. Manager Gary Kendall was pleased with the team’s defensive ability this early in the season.

“The way we defended is what I was most happy with,” Kendall said. “They had a couple balls that were hit that if we don’t come up with it puts runners in scoring position. [First baseman Brandon] Waring made a couple nice plays over there at first base; Richardson comes up with a diving play. I was really happy with the way we caught the baseball tonight.”

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