A well-balanced 9-4 victory gave the Bowie Baysox a season-long five-game winning streak and a series sweep over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in front of 1,430 at Prince George’s Stadium Thursday night.
The hosts jumped on top in the first inning for the third time in as many games. With two outs, Rylan Bannon lined a single to right field to plate Mason McCoy for his 25th RBI of the season. One batter later, T.J. Nichting grounded a single off second base to easily score Ryan McKenna for RBI No. 14 of the season.
Yusniel Diaz continued his recent power surge, smoking a three-run home run off the top of the billboards in left field for his second home run in as many nights. Preston Palmeiro and Engelb Vielma scored on the third long ball of the year for the right fielder, extending the lead to 5-0 in the second inning.
Bowie (27-37) extended its lead to 8-0 with three runs in the fourth inning. Ademar Rifaela recorded his 500th professional hit on a bases-clearing triple off the glove of center fielder Forrest Wall to plate Vielma, McKenna and Diaz. The first eight Bowie runs all came with two outs on the scoreboard.
Palmeiro capped the night offensively by sending a RBI double to the left-center field double, scoring Carlos Perez. The catcher’s leadoff single in the eighth inning marked at least one hit for each of the Baysox starting offensive nine.
On the mound, Marcos Molina twirled a gem to earn his fourth win of the year. A Kevin Smith three-run home run broke up the shutout bid in the seventh inning, but the righty still earned a quality start by striking out five batters in seven innings. Molina retired the first 12 batters before a Chad Spanberger single spoiled the no-hit attempt.
That was the only baserunner for New Hampshire (28-35) until the seventh inning, and Molina was able to shake off last week’s start in Manchester and complete the seventh. RHP Branden Kline struck out a pair in his first game of the season with the Baysox, while Francisco Jimenez closed out the series sweep with one unearned run in the ninth inning.
With the season series win over the Fisher Cats in hand, the Baysox square off with the Trenton Thunder for the first time in 2019 this weekend. LHP Zac Lowther (5-4, 2.12 ERA) takes on RHP Garrett Whitlock (3-1, 3.04) as the New York Yankees’ affiliate comes to Maryland for the only time in 2019.