Bowie, Md. – The Baysox (70-61) offense had its most explosive night of the season as they recorded season-highs in hits (19) and runs in a 17-2 win over the Harrisburg Senators (55-75) Thursday night. With the win and a Richmond loss, the Baysox extend their Wild Card lead to four games.
“We swung the bat really well tonight,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “In Richmond we were putting good swings on the ball, but runs were hard to get. Here the ball was carrying out of the park. Usually you get 3, 4, 5 runs in an inning and then the pace of the game picks back up, but we just kept scoring.”
Baysox right fielder Ronnie Welty had his best game of the season, hitting two home runs and tripling on the way to an eight-RBI night. Welty tied a franchise record with eight-RBI in a game, accomplishing the feat for the fifth time in franchise history.
“It was definitely a career night for me,” Welty said. “The last few games had been rough so I had to take a long at what I was doing wrong and I saw I was starting my swing late and it was causing me to rush. I spent some time in the batting cage with [Hitting Coach Denny] Hocking and that really helped. I felt great tonight and was really relaxed and I saw the ball well.”
Bowie hitters combined for 11 runs in the fifth and sixth innings, sending 20 total batters to the plate and batting around the order in each inning. Seven Baysox players recorded multi-hit games and the team combined for six extra-base hits.
“Night like this are so much fun,” Welty said. “Everyone was hitting and after we got that run in the first inning everything really got going. We have really been gelling as a team.”
The Baysox struck first in the bottom of the first inning against Harrisburg starter Ryan Perry. Center fielder Antoan Richardson hit a lead off single to right field and moved to third base when shortstop Jonathan Schoop singled to left field. Richardson scored when left fielder Ty Kelly grounded into a double play to give the Baysox a 1-0 lead.
Harrisburg tied the game in the top of the second inning against Baysox starter Mike Wright. Jimmy Van Ostrand hit a lead off single to left field and made his way to third base after a pair of wild pitches before scoring on a single by James Skelton to tie the score 1-1.
Bowie took the lead back in the bottom of the third inning. Welty hit a lead off home run to left field to get the inning started. With one out, Richardson drew a walk and moved to third base after a stolen base and a throwing error on the catcher. With two outs, Kelly singled to second base to plate Richardson and designated hitter Robbie Widlansky followed with a single to left field that moved Kelly to second base. Second baseman Buck Britton hit the third consecutive single of the inning to plate Kelly and give the Baysox a 4-1 lead.
The Baysox offense exploded in the bottom of the fifth inning as they sent 10 batters to the plate. The first four batters of the inning reached, scoring two runs before Marcos Frias replaced Perry on the mound. With one out and the bases loaded, Welty hit a bases clearing triple to right field before scoring on a wild pitch for the sixth run of the inning to give the Baysox a 10-1 lead.
Bowie added to the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kelly hit a lead off triple to right field and scored when Widlansky singled to center field. With one out, first baseman Rhyne Hughes singled to left field and Rafael Martin then replaced Frias on the mound. With two outs and two runners on, Welty hit his second home run of the game to left-center field to give him 7-RBI on the game. Catcher Brian Ward then drew a walk and Richardson followed with a double to right field. Schoop then singled for the sixth hit of the inning to plate Ward and give the Baysox a 15-1 lead.
The Baysox extended the lead again in the bottom of the seventh inning. The first three batters of the innings reached and Wheeler and Welty hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to give the Baysox a 17-1 lead. The RBI was Welty’s eighth of the game.
Harrisburg got one run back in the top of the eighth inning against Baysox reliever Clay Schrader. Anthony Rendon hit a lead off double to right field and scored when Destin Hood singled to center field to make the score 17-2.
Wright pitched six innings and allowed one run on four hits while striking out seven batters and walking one in the win. Left-handed reliever Chris Petrini pitched a scoreless seventh inning and did not allow a hit while walking one batter. Schrader pitched one inning and allowed one run on two hits while striking out one batter and walking two. Baysox reliever Jason Gurka pitched a perfect ninth inning for the Baysox.
Perry took the loss for Harrisburg, pitching four innings and allowing eight runs on 10 hits while striking out one batter and walking three.
LHP Jake Pettit (9-3, 4.10) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as the team plays the second in a four game home series with the Harrisburg Senators beginning at 7:05 p.m. He will be opposed by LHP Danny Rosenbaum (8-9, 3.73).
The Baysox are home through Thursday, August 30 for the final eight game homestand of the season. The activities include War of 1812 Night Friday, August 24 beginning at 7:05 p.m., Kids Appreciation Night Saturday, August 25 beginning at 6:35 p.m. and Fan Appreciation Day Sunday, August 26 beginning at 2:05 p.m.