June 29, 2010 - Eastern League (EL) - Bowie Baysox
BOWIE, Md. - Baltimore Orioles outfielder Felix Pie provided a major boost for the Bowie Baysox in their 6-5 victory over the Erie SeaWolves Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with a double. The win clinched the Baysox first series win of the year over Erie, as they now hold a 6-9 record against their division rivals.
It was the third walk-off victory in the last four home games for the Baysox, who now stand six games over .500 with a 42-36 record. They hold steady in second place in the Eastern League\'s Western Division, 7.5 games behind the Altoona Curve and four games ahead of third-place Harrisburg.
Baysox starting pitcher Chorye Spoone had a solid game until running out of steam in the seventh inning, finishing with five runs on six hits through 6.1 innings. Spoone added four walks to his league-high total and fanned six batters.
"I've thrown outstanding my last nine, ten starts whatever, and tonight was the best I felt in probably five of them," Spoone said. "Even in my pre-bullpen I was throwing a lot of strikes. Two walks through the first six innings, perfect. I got my strikeouts, got my ground balls, then it just fell apart in the seventh."
"I'm always a second half pitcher so I'm excited to see how the second half goes," he said of his comeback from his 2008 career-threatening shoulder surgery. "I'm very pleased with the way I've thrown and I feel like I'm getting stronger every time."
"He's throwing good," Baysox Manager Brad Komminsk said, of Spoone. "I think he out-thinks himself too much. Instead of just trusting his stuff he's trying to trick everybody. He's got good enough stuff to get guys out with what he has. It's a learning process."
The Baysox capitalized on Erie mistakes in the first inning to take an early lead. Pie led off with an infield single to the second baseman and third baseman Ryan Adams followed with a double to left field that put Pie on third base. The SeaWolves intentionally walked right fielder Joel Guzman and the bases were loaded with one out. Designated hitter Robbie Widlansky knocked a single into left field that plated Pie for the opening run and left the bases loaded. After first baseman Brandon Waring struck out, center fielder Danny Figueroa drew a four-pitch walk to make it 2-0. Shortstop Greg Miclat hit a grounder that should have been an easy out for first baseman Rawley Bishop, but the ball slipped between his legs as Miclat raced to second base and Guzman and Widlansky crossed the plate for a 4-0 lead. All nine Baysox batters would take a turn at the plate in the inning.
Erie cut the lead in half in the second inning, as Bishop led off with a double to left-center. Michael Bertram, whose fielding error in the bottom of the ninth handed the Baysox a victory on Monday, hit a single up the middle that put runners on the corners. Bishop crossed home on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Kody Kaiser, and Bertram did the same after left fielder Deik Scram\'s double to center made it 4-2.
Second baseman Carlos Rojas singled on a line drive to left field to open the bottom of the fourth inning, and he advanced to second on a balk by Garcia. Pie sent Rojas to third with a single to left field before Adams plated him with a sacrifice fly to right field that gave the Baysox a 5-2 edge.
Erie shaved a run off the lead in the sixth inning, as Bertram\'s double to left plated Andy Dirks from first base, and the SeaWolves chased Spoone from the game in the seventh inning. After striking out Scram to open the inning, Spoone walked third baseman Bryan Pounds and second baseman Alden Carrithers before he hit Shawn Roof to load the bases. Spoone then took his leave, and was replaced by lefty Chad Thall, who made his first appearance for the Baysox since May 15. Dirks drove Pounds in with a sacrifice fly to center, and Carrithers tied the ballgame at 5-5 when he scored on Bishop\'s single to left.
"I wasn't really that tired," Spoone said. "It kind of seems like it because when you throw 100 pitches you think I'd be tired but I really wasn't. I can't really explain what happened, but I felt great. ... It's the walks that they score the last two on that are just unacceptable because 50 percent of their runs shouldn't come off walks. If you don't walk them, or hit batters, nobody scores and that's what is frustrating about it."
Baysox reliever Jim Hoey took over on the mound in the ninth inning and ran his fastball into the upper-mid 90s as he struck Roof out to open the final inning. With two outs and a runner on first, Erie threatened to take a late lead. Waring made a potentially game-saving play to end the inning, diving to his right to snare Bertram\'s worm-burner that seemed destined for the corner of the outfield, and stepping on first to bring up the top of the Baysox order.
Pie fell just short of a dramatic walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth, driving the first pitch of the inning into the right field fence for a stand-up double. The SeaWolves then issued an intentional walk to Adams, who hammered them for two home runs in Monday\'s doubleheader. Catcher Caleb Joseph tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but was unsuccessful as Erie perfectly executed a wheel play to force Pie out at third base.
Guzman, the Baysox home runs and RBIs leader, came to the plate and lined a 3-2 pitch to left field that sent Adams across the plate from second. Guzman kept running down the first base line towards the home clubhouse, ducking and dodging his teammates as they tried to mob him on the field.
"Because they hit you," Guzman said, when asked why he ran from his teammates. "I've been there before, so they hit you. I joke around with everybody, so after getting the winning hit, so I just played around with guys a little bit."
The Baysox have one more game with the SeaWolves, and can take a four-game sweep over Erie with a victory in Wednesday\'s game at 7:05 p.m. That game is the Baysox Daddy/Daughter Date Night; fathers and their daughters can get two reserved tickets and two hot dogs for $20, with additional tickets available for $10 each.
The Akron Aeros roll into town during the Baysox All-American Weekend, featuring fireworks shows on July 2, 3 and 4. Saturday, July 3, is Stress Less Saturday, with a chance to win a family vacation courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Sunday, July 4, is the Baysox Independence Day Celebration, with a spectacular extended fireworks show and an auction of special stars-and-stripes Baysox jerseys that benefits AMVETS.