Bowie, Md. – The Baysox held off a late rally by the SeaWolves to win 5-4 and win the series. With the win, the Baysox are a season-high seven games above .500.
“I liked our bat intensity tonight,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “I thought throughout the lineup we put some good swings on pitches and that was steady throughout the whole game.”
Baysox left-handed starting pitcher Rick Zagone pitched seven and two-thirds innings and allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out two batters and walking two in the win.
“When I got in trouble in the innings that I did, I tried to get ground balls and minimize the damage,” Zagone said. “I had great defense behind me – they turned a couple double plays. It was an all-around great game.”
The Baysox scored first in the bottom of the second inning against Erie starter Patrick Cooper. Left fielder Robbie Widlansky drew a lead off walk and moved to second base on a balk. With one out, Widlansky scored when first baseman Rhyne Hughes doubled to center field to give the Baysox a 1-0 lead.
Bowie extended the lead in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, center fielder Antoan Richardson reached on a bunt single, shortstop Jonathan Schoop walked and third baseman Ty Kelly singled to center field to load the bases. Widlansky then doubled to left field to plate two runs and give the Baysox a 3-0 lead.
Erie got a run back in the top of the fourth inning against Zagone. Nick Castellanos was hit by a pitch, moved to third base on a double to left field by Jordan Lennerton and scored on a groundout by Avisail Garcia to make the score 3-1.
Second baseman Buck Britton helped the Baysox get the run right back in the bottom half of the inning when he hit a solo home run into right field to make the score 4-1.
The SeaWolves cut the lead again in the top of the fifth inning. Rawley Bishop hit a lead off single to center field and moved to second base when Brandon Douglas singled to right field. James McCann moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt and Bishop scored on a Jamie Johnson groundout to make the score 4-2.
The Baysox extended the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning against Erie reliever Kelvin De La Cruz. Britton hit a one out single to second base and advanced to second on the play after a throwing error on Douglas. Britton came around to score on a single to right field by Ronnie Welty to give the Baysox a 5-2 lead.
Erie got back in the game in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs, Castellanos walked and Lennerton followed with a home run to left-center field to make the score 5-4. Baysox reliever Robert Hinton replaced Zagone on the mound to record the final out of the inning.
Hinton recorded the final four outs of the game to get the save, allowing one hit and striking out two batters.
Cooper took the loss for Erie, pitching five innings and allowing runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking two.
With less than 20 games remaining in the season, the Baysox are in the middle of the Wild Card race, as they entered the day in second place and three games ahead of the Richmond Flying Squirrels for the final playoff spot in the Western Division.
“I am looking forward to the playoffs,” Zagone said. “I haven’t been in them in a while. I’d love to go deep into the playoffs and get a few more starts. I think we have the team to do it. We have a great lineup and a nice young staff too.”
RHP Eddie Gamboa (5-4, 3.21) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as the team plays the final game in a four game series with the Erie SeaWolves beginning at 7:05 p.m. He will be opposed by LHP Ramon Garcia (8-8, 4.02)
The Baysox are home through Thursday, August 16 for a four game homestand that concludes with Elvis’ 35th Anniversary Celebration Thursday during the game starting at 7:05 p.m. The team departs for a six game road trip to Trenton and Richmond Friday, August 17.