Erie (8-10) shortstop Eugenio Suarez almost single-handedly sunk the Baysox (10-10) Thursday afternoon, hitting two home runs and driving in six runs in a 9-5 win over the Baysox to split the series.
For the third game in a row during this series, a grand slam was hit, this time by Suarez during a five run fifth inning for the SeaWolves. Three of the five grand slams hit in the Eastern League this season have come during this series. Despite matching the SeaWolves with 13 hits Thursday, the Baysox were unable to overcome the five run deficit created in the fifth inning.
The Baysox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning against Erie starter Wilsen Palacios. Zane Chavez hit a lead off single to right field and moved to second base on a Buck Britton single to shallow left field. Niuman Romero brought Chavez home with a double to right field to give the Baysox the lead.
Erie came right back to take the lead in the top of the fourth inning against Baysox starter Jake Pettit. Brandon Loy hit a lead off single to left field and Eugenio Suarez followed with a home run to left field to give the SeaWolves a 2-1 lead.
Dariel Alvarez tied the game 2-2 for the Baysox in the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run to right field.
The SeaWolves took the lead right back with a big fifth inning. The first three batters of the inning singled, allowing Francisco Martinez to score the first run. The SeaWolves then loaded the bases with no outs, allowing Suarez to hit his second home run of the game – a grand slam to give Erie a 7-2 lead. Baysox reliever Jason Gurka then replaced Pettit on the mound and got out of the inning.
The Baysox got one run back in the bottom half of the inning. Johnny Ruettiger hit a lead off single to left field and scored on a Buck Britton double down the right field line to make the score 7-3. The Baysox were able to load the bases with two outs in the inning, but unable to bring any more runs home.
Bowie cut into the lead again in the bottom of the seventh inning against Erie reliever Ryan Robowski. Britton hit a lead off ground rule double to right field and Chad Smith then replaced Robowski on the mound. Britton moved to third base on a groundout and Christian Walker then drew a walk. Chih-Hsien Chiang singled to left field to bring Britton home and Michael Ohlman followed with a two-out single to plate Walker and make the score 7-5.
The SeaWolves added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning against Baysox reliever Juan Morillo. Jamie Johnson drew a lead off walk, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, stole third base and scored on a throwing error by catcher Michael Ohlman. Aaron Westlake then hit a solo home run over the right field fence to make the score 9-5.
Pettit pitched four innings and allowed seven runs on nine hits while striking out two and walking one in the loss. Gurka pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out one batter. Baysox reliever Steve Hensley pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. Morillo pitched the ninth inning for the Baysox and allowed two runs on one hit and one walk.
Robowski earned the win for Erie, pitching one and one-third innings and allowing one run on two hits while striking out one.
RHP Matt Bischoff (1-1, 3.77) takes the mound for the Baysox Friday as the team plays the first game in a three game road series with the Harrisburg Senators. He will be opposed by RHP A.J. Cole (2-0, 2.63).
Friday, April 25 the Baysox depart for a seven game road trip to Harrisburg and Richmond. The team returns home Friday, May 2 for a three game homestand against the Erie SeaWolves.
Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 2014 season, their 22nd as the class Double-A Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, is underway at Prince George’s Stadium. Come see some of the top Orioles prospects play here first. To keep up with Baysox news during the season, visit baysox.com.