Bowie, Md. – Baysox first baseman Rhyne Hughes hit a walk off home run on a 0-2 pitch with two outs to lead the Baysox (52-50) to victory 3-2 over the Richmond Flying Squirrels (53-51) Tuesday night.
It was the team’s first walk off home run of the season and came after shortstop Manny Machado was hit by a pitch to bring the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs in the inning. Richmond closer Brett Bochy threw Hughes a slider that he took over the right field fence to seal the victory.
“Manny was trying to have a good at-bat and he got hit by a pitch and that kept us alive,” Hughes said. “I got down 0-2 and last night when I faced him he put me away with a fastball away so I was looking for the same thing tonight. I wasn’t looking to hit a home run, I was just trying to find something I could put the bat on to get on base and keep the game going a little longer and he threw a slider that hung a little bit and I got out ahead of it.”
For the second night in a row, Bowie’s hitters started slow and failed to reach base in the first three innings but got things going as the game pushed forward, finishing with eight total hits.
“I thought our bats really started to come alive after the fifth inning,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “We had good swings on [Chris] Gloor in the sixth and seventh. We started putting some guys on and kept it close because of the pitching and the defense. Then Hughes got a good pitch to hit in the ninth.”
Baysox left-handed starting pitcher Rick Zagone put in a strong outing as he went seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five batters and walking three in the no decision. Baysox reliever Pat Egan pitched two scoreless innings to finish the game for the Baysox and get the win, allowing one hit and striking out two batters.
“[Zagone] kept us right there and then Egan came in and did a good job out of the bullpen,” Kendall said. “It was the second night in a row we got a really good start and we were fortunate enough to pull this one out.”
Richmond again broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning against Zagone when Luke Anders hit a solo home run to right field. The Flying Squirrels then mounted a two out rally as Gary Brown singled to left field before Ehire Adrianza drew a walk. Daniel Mayora then plated Brown with a single to center field that gave Richmond a 2-0 lead.
The Baysox got one run back in the bottom of the sixth against Richmond starter Chris Gloor but squandered an opportunity to tie the game. Right fielder Jai Miller hit a one out single to center field and scored when catcher Brian Ward doubled to left field. Left fielder Josh Barfield followed with a single to left field that moved Ward to third where he had an opportunity to score on a sac fly by second baseman Jonathan Schoop. After the fly out, however, Barfield was doubled off first base to end the inning and wipe out the potential tying run by Ward.
Bowie came storming back in the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs, Machado was hit by a pitch and Hughes followed with the home run to right field that made the score 3-2.
Bochy earned the loss for Richmond, pitching one inning and allowing two runs on two hits while striking out one batter and hitting one.
RHP Zach Clark (9-4, 3.41) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as they play the final game in a three game series against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. He will be opposed by RHP Craig Westcott (9-6, 3.61).
The Baysox are home through Wednesday, July 25 for a seven game homestand that concludes with Christmas in April beginning at 7:05 p.m. The team then departs for a four game series in Akron.