Pitching Plentiful in Baysox Home Opener

The Baysox made the playoffs for the first time since 1997 in 2008 and were bounced in the semifinals by their Eastern League southern division rivals, the Akron Aeros. Thursday, the Baysox hosted Akron in their home opener, sending a healthy Troy Patton to the mound to face the Aeros for the second time in as many starts.

The Bowie Baysox (5-3) opened the home portion of their schedule Thursday night by winning their fourth in a row, a 2-0 victory over the Akron Aeros (5-2) that featured great pitching from both sides.

Troy Patton (2-0) turned in his second straight scoreless start to open the season, pitching six innings, walking none, and striking out six Aeros. His control was there most of night, as he did not walk a single batter.

"I felt really good, got us out of here quick, quick tidy," Patton said after the game. "Everything felt good. My fastball was a little erratic at times, but I was able to make up for it with a little bit of sink and some good changeups."

Run support was hard to come by in this one as Akron's Frank Herrmann only gave up one run on four hits and one walk in seven innings. Both pitchers were as crisp as the Bowie night.

It took until the bottom of the fourth for the Baysox to get hit, but it was a triple to deep center by the designated hitter Paco Figueroa, extending his early-season hitting streak to seven games. Figueroa skied one to the deepest part of the park and Akron's John Drennen had no idea where it was.

Left fielder Jonathan Tucker lined out to third, but first baseman Brandon Snyder came through with sacrifice fly to center to drive in Figueroa for the first run of the game.

Josh Perrault entered the game in the top of the seventh and pitched a near perfect two innings of relief, surrendering just one hit while striking out one Aero. He bridged the gap perfectly getting to the ninth, holding down a one run lead.

Perrault extended his scoreless innings streak to seven to open the season, his fourth appearance in Bowie's first eight games. This was the third straight time Perrault has pitched multiple innings in relief.

"Perrault's been very good so far," Baysox pitching coach Larry McCall said. "He's been very consistent every time out. He has a good sinker and a good slider and throws strikes. He's done an excellent job so far in the bullpen."

In the eigth, third baseman Melvin Dorta led off the inning with an infield single and reached second when Aeros' catcher Carlos Santana threw the ball over first into the Bowie crowd. Dorta advanced to third on a flyout to center off the bat of Jeff Fiorentino and later scored on a wild pitch to put the Baysox up 2-0.

Baysox closer Wilfrido Perez came in to close the door, but made things interesting. Perez was responsible for the only two walks surrendered by the Baysox, but was able to nail down the win by getting Akron's left fielder Nicholas Weglarz to tap one out in front of the mound. Perez was able to get the ball on the third base side and make a strong throw to first, getting help from a fully outstretched Brandon Snyder to barely get Weglarz.

Injury Notes

Paco Figueroa feels like he is healthy again, but the plan is to plug him in as a designated hitter from time to time. This will give his shoulder rest or keep it from tightening up when it is cold, as it was cool this evening, according to manager Brad Komminsk and Figueroa. Figueroa said, "The more I throw, the better it gets, so I'm 100 per cent healthy."

Pitcher Zach Clark is headed back to Sarasota, Fl., to work on his right shoulder. Clark wants to get back to Bowie as soon as possible, but he has to wait "however long it takes for the inflammation to go back down and then build [arm strength] back up." There is no timetable on his return and Clark summed it up by saying, "It stinks."

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