Baysox Hunt Down SeaWolves

Bowie, Md. – Baysox starting pitcher Tommy Hunter threw a complete game shutout to help Bowie beat the Erie SeaWolves 6-0 Monday night. It was the Baysox first complete game shutout since Brian Matusz threw one July 2, 2009.

“I kept the ball down for the most part and you win ballgames when you keep the ball down,” Hunter said. “What happened tonight would work anywhere. I was able to thrown strikes early in the count and down in the count and that’s what helps.”

Hunter retired the first 11 batters he faced before issuing a two-out walk in the top of the fifth inning. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed just two total hits while striking out four batters and walking one in the win.

“Every time you go out, you want to be perfect,” Hunter said. “That’s first and foremost. I was a little upset – I threw two change-ups for balls then threw a really bad pitch to fall behind 3-0 then fastball for strike and I threw one down for the walk. I was upset about the walk – that wasn’t very good, but the fastball in the last inning was a well-hit ball and that’s one where you tip your cap because he got me.”

“That’s how it’s done I guess,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “First of all, to see a starter out there in the ninth inning was impressive. He had a good downward angle, was getting ahead and throwing all his pitches and mixing well. Just the confidence he exuded from him to our players. He was at his A game here – with the angle he had with his fastball and breaking ball, I think he could have gotten guys out anywhere.”

Baysox designated hitter Robbie Widlansky extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning against Erie starter Jared Gayhart. Shortstop Jonathan Schoop scored from first on the play after a perfectly executed hit and run to give the Baysox a 1-0 lead.

“The early hit and early RBI were key,” Widlansky said. “We got the lead and then with Tommy Hunter on the mound, he only needed a run or two so it took the pressure off the offense. We are all feeding off each other and there are so many good hitters in this lineup and we are all hitting well right now.”

Widlansky entered the game as the team leader and fourth in the league in RBI (79) and fifth in the league in batting average (.315) and he improved both of those numbers during Monday’s game.

Right fielder Ronnie Welty helped add to the Baysox lead in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out solo home run to left-center field that made the score 2-0.

The Baysox extended their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Brian Ward hit a lead off single to left field and moved to second base on a groundout. Schoop drew a walk and Widlansky followed with a two-out single to left field that plated Ward to give the Baysox a 3-0 lead.

Bowie added some insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against Erie reliever Robbie Weinhardt. First baseman Rhyne Hughes hit a solo home run and third baseman Zelous Wheeler followed with a single to left field. Welty then hit his second home run of the game to give the Baysox a 6-0 lead. It was Welty’s second multi-home run game in the last week.

“Those finishing runs late in the game really helped us because you never know if you might go out there and hit a snag,” Kendall said. “We go another big night out of Welty – driving in a couple runs on those two home runs. We hit the ball pretty well as a club.”

Gayhart took the loss for Erie, pitching five innings and allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out two batters and walking one.

RHP Dylan Bundy (1-0, 3.18) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as the team plays the second in a four game home series with the Erie SeaWolves beginning at 7:05 p.m. He will be opposed by RHP James Avery (10-11, 4.66).

The Baysox are home through Thursday, August 30 for the final eight game homestand of the season. The activities include Tailgate Tuesday, August 28 at 7:05 p.m., Back to School Night with book giveaway Wednesday, August 29 and the Regular Season Home Finale Thursday, August 30 at 7:05 p.m.

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Tucker began operating Orioles-Nation.com in October 2013. He has been writing and reporting on the Orioles for an extensive period of time, dedicating most of his energy to the minor league side. He is also a member of the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Evaluation Team. Outside of baseball, Tucker also works as a Government Contractor for Contracting Resources Group, Inc. He has appeared as a radio guest on Fox 1370 and WNST 1570. Tucker writes and updates all player reports at Orioles-Nation.com and can be contacted at tuckerblair1989@gmail.com. Follow Tucker on Twitter @TuckerBlairON. Email Tucker at tblair@orioles-nation.com.