June 27, 2009 - Eastern League (EL) - Bowie Baysox
ALTOONA, Pa. - Bowie starting pitchers Brian Matusz and Fredy Deza both threw gems Saturday night in Altoona as the Baysox swept a doubleheader from the Curve with 5-1 and 5-0 victories. With the wins, the Baysox improve to 41-33, a season-high eight games over .500.
The Baysox provided Matusz with a three run lead before he had to take the mound. Left fielder Jonathan tucker led off the game with a single to center field and stole second base before scoring on a one-out single by first baseman Eric Crozier. Third baseman Mike Costanzo followed with an RBI triple to center field and scored on a groundout by Miguel Abreu to put the Baysox up 3-0.
Miguel Abreu would add a pair of RBI singles to put the Baysox up 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. It was more than enough run support for Matusz. The lefty did not allow a baserunner until he walked Jose Tabata with two outs in the third inning.
Matusz was pleased with his outing. "I felt like all my pitches were working well. I was able to locate my fastball pretty well. It was on the corners, moving in and out. My curveball was a good strikeout pitch, I was able to attack a few guys and get some punch-outs. My slider was good, early in the count I was able to get it over for strikes."
Altoona pushed a run across against Matusz in the fifth inning on a single my Milver Reyes and had a pair of runners on base when Baysox skipper Brad Komminsk went to his bullpen in the sixth inning. With one out and runners on first and second, reliever Ryan Ouellette got Jonel Pacheco to ground into an inning-ending double play. Ouelette would retire all three batter he faced in the seventh inning to record his first save of the season.
The Baysox got on the board in the first inning of the second game as well. Tucker led off with a triple into right-center field and scored on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Robert Valido. It was the only run the team would score with Deza in the game, and the righty made it count.
Deza threw five outstanding innings, holding the Curve scoreless on three hits and two walks. He allowed a single and a walk in the first inning but did not allow another Curve batter to reach second base.
"I got them to swing at the first pitch," said Deza. "They have a lot of left-handed hitters, and I worked with my two-seamer down."
McCall was impressed by Deza\'s performance. "Fredy\'s been doing an outstanding job," the pitching coach said. "He was a little bit slow that first inning, but it looks like he just gets better as the game goes on. In the fifth inning, he threw the ball extremely well. He\'s probably going to have to throw another spot start coming up against Akron, that\'s probably why we didn\'t let him go a little bit longer."
The Baysox would put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth inning. Tucker lashed a single to right and moved to second on a balk. He advanced to third on a single by Valido and Crozier drew a walk to load the bases. Costanzo drove them all in with a towering shot to center field, his second grand slam of the season.
"Everybody\'s been trying to get ahead of me with off-speed pitches," Costanzo said after the game. "Luckily, the bases were loaded and they had to give me something to hit."
After winning their last four games and 14 out of their last 17, the Baysox are on a roll heading into the second half of the season. Costanzo believes their offense will keep them in the playoff hunt until the end of the season.
"No game is ever over until the last out is made," the third baseman said. "There is so much depth in our lineup, from one to nine we\'re stacked."
The Baysox will meet the curve for the fourth game of the five-game series tomorrow in Altoona at 6:05 p.m. RHP Tim Bascom (2-0, 1.89 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Baysox, he will be opposed by LHP Kyle Bloom (1-4, 3.26 ERA) for the Curve. The Baysox return home Tuesday, June 30, for Belly Buster Bargain Night. The team will also host a fundraiser to benefit the family of Christopher Jones July 1, the team is offering $5 general admission seat tickets through several Crofton businesses with proceeds being donated to the family.
The Baysox 17th season as the class AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is underway! Check out www.baysox.com to see all that's going on at the stadium this year, and don't miss a moment of the action as the Baysox attempt to bring home their first Eastern League championship. Individual game tickets and ticket packages are available now at www.baysox.com or by calling the Baysox box office at (301) 464-4865.