Bowie, Md. – Baysox (58-54) shortstop Manny Machado hit for the cycle as the team defeated the Trenton Thunder (68-45) 8-7 Saturday night. Machado hit a game-winning two-run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete the team’s first cycle since Lou Montanez in 2008.
The Baysox saw an early five-run lead disappear after Trenton responded with six unanswered runs in a back-and-forth game that was not decided until the Machado blow in the bottom of the eighth inning that marked the fourth and final lead change of the game.
A night after scoring 10 runs, the Thunder offense came back with seven runs and three home runs, but the Baysox were up to the task with five extra-base hits including the Machado home run.
The Baysox struck first in the bottom of the second inning against Trenton starter Craig Heyer. Machado hit a lead off triple to center field and scored when designated hitter Caleb Joseph grounded out to give the Baysox a 1-0 lead.
Bowie added to the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Catcher Brian Ward and center fielder Antoan Richardson hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and third baseman Buck Britton followed with a single to center fielder Adonis Garcia, who committed a fielding error that allowed a run to score. Right fielder Robbie Widlansky then grounded out, but Richardson scored from third base on the play. First baseman Rhyne Hughes and Machado followed with back-to-back doubles to plate two more runs and give the Baysox a 5-0 lead.
Trenton got back in the game in the top of the fourth inning against Baysox starter Rick Zagone. Zoilo Almonte and Luke Murton hit back-to-back home runs with one out in the inning to make the score 5-2.
The Thunder came storming back in the top of the sixth inning with the help of more Baysox defensive struggles. Almonte hit a one out single to left field and moved to third base after a pair of errors by Machado allowed Murton to reach base. Addison Maruszak followed with a double to left field that plated Almonte and moved Murton to third base where he was thrown out at home plate on a fielder’s choice with JR Murphy batting. Walter Ibarra kept the hits coming with a double to right field that plated the third run and Jeff Farnham followed with a single to left field that scored the fourth and final run of the inning to give Trenton a 6-5 lead. All four runs in the inning surrendered by Zagone were unearned as a result of the Machado errors. Left-handed reliever Mike Belfiore replaced Zagone on the mound to record the final out of the inning.
The Baysox came back to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning against Trenton reliever Josh Romanski. Machado hit a lead off single to center field and Joseph followed with a ground rule double to center field. Machado scored on a ground out by second baseman Josh Barfield to tie the game at 6-6.
Trenton took the lead right back in the top of the seventh inning when Garcia hit a lead off home run to right field to make the score 7-6.
Machado gave the Baysox the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when he hit a two-run home run to left field against Trenton reliever Mark Montgomery to make the score 8-7. The home run also completed the cycle for Machado.
Zagone pitched five and two-thirds innings and allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits, while striking out nine batters and walking three in the no decision.
Mike Belfiore would get the win going 2.1 innings and allowing one run on one hit with two strikeouts.
Kyler Newby then nailed down the save throwing a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts.
Heyer pitched four innings and allowed five runs on six hits, but did not factor into the decision.
The loss went to Montgomery who gave up his first runs for the Thunder, throwing two innings and allowing two runs on two hits.
RHP Zach Clark (10-5, 3.19) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as the team plays the final game in a three game series against the Trenton Thunder. He will be opposed by RHP Brett Marshall (11-4, 2.83).
The Baysox are home through Sunday, August 5 for a six game homestand that concludes with the Football Kick Off Party Sunday, beginning at 6:05 p.m. The team then departs on a seven game road trip that includes stops in Altoona and Richmond.