Baysox Overcome Late Cruz Home Run to Hand Altoona Extra-Inning Loss
BOWIE, MD - With Altoona down to its last strike, Oneil Cruz blasted a game-tying, 462 ft home run in the top of the ninth inning, but it was the Baysox who came out on top in the tenth, 5-4, at Prince George's Field on Wednesday night.
It was the 11th home run of the season for Cruz, and the third that has surpassed 460 feet. Trailing 4-1, he came to the plate with runners on first and second and faced a full count with two outs before crushing the shot to right field off Claudio Custudio to extend the game.
Nathan Kirby loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with one out. Altoona then opted to pull center fielder Ji-Hwan Bae in to serve as a fifth infielder. In the next at-bat, Bae fielded a ground ball up the middle, stepped on second for a force-out, and turned the double play to retire the side and send the game to extra-innings.
Altoona failed to score in the top of the tenth. In the bottom of the inning, Bae picked up another outfield assist when he threw out Patrick Dorrian at the plate on an Andrew Daschbach single to keep the game tied. Toby Welk singled in the next at-bat with two outs to score Daschbach and end the game.
The Baysox scored twice in the second inning off Altoona starter Omar Cruz. Welk hit a solo home run and Chris Hudgins hit an RBI-double. Welk finished the day with two hits and two runs batted in for the Baysox. Two more runs came across for the Baysox in the fifth. Cruz allowed all four runs with only two earned in five innings. He struck out seven batters.
Bae knocked a double down the left field line in the third inning off Bowie starter Grayson Rodriguez to score Connor Kaiser and make it a 2-1 game. The double extended his on-base streak to 25 games. Stretching back to August 15, Bae is batting .348 with a .459 on-base percentage.
Yerry De Los Santos and Kirby each tossed two scoreless innings of relief. Cristofer Melendez allowed the one run in the 10th inning on two hits.
Cal Mitchell, Grant Koch, Bae, and Kaiser all finished with two hits for the Curve. The loss is the first in extra innings this season for Altoona after winning its first seven extra-inning games. At 56-57, The Curve have fallen below .500 for the first time since May 9, when they were 2-3.
The Curve continue their series with the Baysox on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Travis MacGregor (3-9, 6.62) will start for Altoona, with RHP Garrett Stallings (2-2, 5.57) slated for Bowie.
For tickets or more information about Curve Baseball, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office. Additionally, the Stockyard Team Store is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., during every home game and online 24/7/365.
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