Britton Vetoes Senators
BOWIE, Md. - The Bowie Baysox won their fourth straight game 2-1 Tuesday night over the Harrisburg Senators to remain neck-and-neck in a three way tie with Akron and Altoona for the Western Division lead.
The win pushed Bowie to 5-1 overall and kept the Baysox on pace for the best start in club history, a mark set by the 1997 Baysox, who went 7-1 through their first eight games. That '97 Baysox team finished 74-69 and lost to Harrisburg in the first round of the playoffs.
Starting pitcher Zach Britton got the win in six innings of work. True to his reputation as a ground ball pitcher, Britton recorded 10 groundouts and just a single flyout.
"He threw the ball very well," said Pitching Coach Kennie Steenstra. "When he's going well, he's going to throw you a lot of ground balls and that's what he did tonight. I think he had two balls in the air and one of them was the line drive back at him, so pretty good in command all the way through."
"Really, the sinker was awesome today," Britton said. "Me and [catcher] Caleb [Joseph] had talked at the beginning of the year to kind of take something off of my sinker and not try to throw it as hard as I was last year and it's worked really well the first couple outings. Just trying to take a little bit off and the movement is still there, it's actually moving a little bit more and I'm having better control of it and being able to pound em in with the hard four-seam really helps. I really didn't throw an off-speed pitch until about the fourth inning, I probably went four and two-thirds before I threw a breaking pitch or an off-speed pitch."
Britton also put on a fine defensive display, getting directly involved in four outs including an impressive play in the second inning where he was in position to grab an errant ball intended to be flipped to the first baseman and get the out at first himself.
"Really, I was just going over there to hang out just to make sure that if he threw something I was going to be there and the ball happened to land in my glove," Britton said. "It was kind of funny but at least we got him out, right?"
"He's a sinker baller," Steenstra said. "And they've got to be good fielding their position and he takes some pride in it, he works hard at it and it showed tonight."
"I guess with all the ground balls I get I have to be a good fielder," Britton said. "Otherwise I'd probably look stupid out there."
Britton's fine pitching and fielding display allowed the Baysox to win with only three hits in the game. The most notable hit was an RBI double from first baseman Robbie Widlansky on a fly ball to center field, which plated fellow infielder Brandon Waring. Widlansky scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Blake Davis.
"It's good, I'm off to a solid start," said Widlansky, who has batted .500 in 14 at-bats with two RBI. "You know, it's early. I put some good swings on the ball and just try to hit balls hard."
The Baysox close out their home stand Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. as they look to sweep the Senators in pursuit of the division lead. After that game, the team will hit the road for series in Akron and Erie before returning on April 22.
Think Outside The Box with the Baysox in 2010. The Baysox 18th season as the class Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is underway. Catch all the action in Natural Definition! Baysox full-season and partial-season ticket packages are available now at www.baysox.com or by calling the group sales department at (301) 464-4880.
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