BOWIE – Bowie Baysox starting pitcher John Means got the nod for Bowie on April 13 against the Harrisburg Senators. Coming off of a winning performance against Akron on April 8, Means struggled early against the Senators after pitching four and two-thirds innings; allowing seven hits and two runs.
“(Means) didn't command his curveball that well tonight, but he kept us in the game,” Baysox Manager Gary Kendall said.
Nevertheless, the Baysox bullpen held strong, and Bowie completed an improbable comeback from an unlikely hero.
Coming up to the plate after previously going 0-for-3, Baysox third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez drove in a run after he drilled a grounder to Harrisburg’s Osvaldo Abreu. Abreu couldn't make the throw to first base and allowed a walk-off single to trump the Senators, 5-4, in the Baysox’s home opener.
“They put me in a situation to try to come through for my team, and I thank God I was able to drive a run in and to win the game,” Rodriguez said about his game-winning hit. “That is what it is all about: teamwork.”
Harrisburg took little time to strike first when Neftali Soto drove a grounder into left field for a RBI double to score Andrew Stevenson. After a scoreless second inning, Harrisburg struck again after Drew Ward hit a sacrifice fly to score Stephen Perez and go up by two.
Scoring wouldn't resume until the seventh inning when Baysox outfielder Glynn Davis hit a line drive to center, scoring two runs in the process as Austin Wynns and Erick Salcedo crossed home plate.
Bowie's offense kept churning as Audry Perez hit a liner to left field to bring home Davis and Cedric Mullins for two more runs as the Baysox took their first lead of the game.
With a two-run lead heading into the final inning, and two down, Baysox reliever Jesus Liranzo threw a fat pitch to Ward, who silenced the crowd with a two-run homer deep over the right field wall to tie the game up at four.
“It is kind of heartbreaking when you get a homerun to tie the game with two strikes, but it happens in a game,” Kendall said. “Our guys rebounded, we got some guys on base, and it was a good win. We were really lucky to pull that one out.”
Mullins started the following inning in the right direction after he hit a standup double. Senators reliever Jimmy Cordero then intentionally walked Drew Dosch to put a man on first and second with only one down.
Cordero walked Perez to load the bases, which set the stage for Rodriguez, who seized his opportunity to make the play of the game.
Looking forward, Kendall is very optimistic about the potential of his club this season.
“It is baby steps, but I think we are going to be okay,” he said. “I like the shape of this ball club. We are going to come together as a team and we are going to be a fun club to watch.”
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