The Bowie Baysox beat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 9-5 Sunday afternoon to wrap up their second series victory in a six-game road trip through New England. Left fielder Brandon Waring led the Baysox offense with a 3-for-5 day as he hit two home runs and recorded five RBIs.
The Baysox took two games in Portland earlier in the week, and finished 4-2 on their road stand. They are now 63-51 on the year and continue to hold second place and the final playoff spot in the Western Division. Bowie trails Altoona by 3.5 games for the division crown and is 3.0 games ahead of third-place Harrisburg.
Eddie Gamboa claimed his first victory as a starter, with three runs on seven hits through 5.0 innings, moving him to 4-4 on the year with a 3.50 ERA. He showed good control of the strike zone with four strikeouts and no walks.
Gamboa had to fight hard through the first inning, as the first four batters recorded hits. Center fielder Darin Mastroianni opened the bottom of the first with a single to left field, and stole second base with Adeiny Hechavarria batting. Hechavarria drove Mastroianni in with a single to left field, and went on to score from first on outfielder Eric Thames' double. Shawn Bowman singled to left field, putting runners on the corners before a wild pitch advanced Bowman to second. Former Baysox pitcher Adam Loewen grounded out for the inning's first out, as Thames scored to put New Hampshire up 3-0.
Fisher Cats first baseman Jonathan Jaspe hit a double to left-center field, that center fielder Tyler Henson gathered quickly and connected with cutoff man Carlos Rojas, who fired home to catcher Adam Donachie, catching Bowman at the plate for the second out. Gamboa struck out Concepcion Rodriguez to escape the inning.
The Baysox struggled against New Hampshire starter B.J. LaMura, who allowed one run on four hits through 5.0 innings. That run came when left fielder Brandon Waring broke a 16-game home run drought with a solo-shot over the left-center-field wall in the top of the second inning, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
Right-hander Vince Bongiovanni came on to relieve LaMura in the top of the sixth inning, and the Baysox immediately ripped into him. Henson led the charge with a leadoff single to right field and right fielder Joel Guzman joined him with a single to center field. First baseman Joe Mahoney loaded the bases with a walk and Waring rotated the runners with a single to right field as Henson scored.
Designated hitter Caleb Joseph grounded into a forceout, but Fisher Cats catcher Matt Liuzza booted the play at the plate as Guzman scored and the bases stayed loaded. Donachie kept the rally moving like clockwork with a single to left field that plated Mahoney. Rojas struck out for the first out, but Liuzza committed another blunder with shortstop Greg Miclat batting, letting a pitch get by for a passed ball that allowed Waring to cross the plate as Donachie and Joseph advanced to second and third base.
Bongiovanni's final act in the inning was to walk Miclat and load the bases again. Danny Farquhar took over, still with one out, and walked third baseman Ryan Adams, giving Joseph a free pass across the plate. The rally finally fizzled as Henson and Guzman struck out in their second at-bat of the inning.
The Baysox held a 6-3 lead after the inning, and Bongiovanni was charged with five runs (four earned) on four hits. It was the second time this year that the Baysox lit up Bongiovanni, hitting him for four runs in an inning on May 23 in Bowie to hand him his first loss of the year.
Righty Wynn Pelzer took over for Gamboa in the bottom of the sixth, and New Hampshire managed a two-run rally. Pelzer walked Thames to start the inning before Bowman knocked a single to left-center field. Thames and Bowman advanced to scoring position on a ground out and they both scored on Rodriguez's single to left field, cutting the Baysox lead to one run at 6-5.
Pelzer retired the Fisher Cats in order in the seventh inning and gave up a single in the bottom of the eighth inning, before being replaced by left-hander Chad Thall. Thall induced a pop out from Thames, and handed the ball to Jose Diaz, who retired the next two batters to end the inning.
The Baysox put New Hampshire away in the ninth inning, as Guzman hit a one-out single to left field and was replaced by Jonathan Tucker as a pinch runner. Mahoney watched a wild pitch fly past as Tucker ran to second base, before drawing a walk. After another wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third base, Waring smashed reliever Ronald Uviedo's 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall for a three-run homer that extended the Baysox lead to 9-5. It was Waring's second two-home run game of the year, and the Baysox first since Mahoney hit two on July 24.
Eastern League All-Star reliever Pedro Beato took over in the bottom of the ninth and gave up two hits with one out before inducing a fly out and striking out Mastroianni to end the game.
The triumphant Baysox return home Tuesday, August 10 for three games with the Portland Sea Dogs. That series includes a spectacular fireworks show on Tuesday, August 10, for Navy Night and Orioles Pride Night on August 12.
Think Outside The Box with the Baysox in 2010. The Baysox 18th season as the class Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is nearly over. Catch all the action in Natural Definition! Baysox full-season and partial-season ticket packages are available now at www.baysox.com or by calling the group sales department at (301) 464-4880.