Brandon Erbe tossed a complete game one-hitter in game-one, the only blemish was a solo home run served up to Ricardo Nanita in the first inning. Other than that, Erbe was perfect. He struck out five in seven innings and walked none.
"It's always nice to end the season on that kind of a note," Erbe said after the game. "Better to go into the off season feeling good about what you finished with than to go through it wishing you had done something different."
This is not the first time Erbe has flirted with history, but this time his bid for it ended in the first inning. Erbe had a no-hitter through eight innings on August 6 in New Hampshire, but was pulled due to his pitch count. He was aware of his strong performance tonight but admitted he was he did not know he was one pitch away from a perfect game until afterwards.
"The fact that I was able to go out and do well the rest of the game, it was still exciting," Erbe said. "It's nowhere near the let-down if you go eight or give up a hit in the ninth. Just the fact that after I gave up an early run and we came back and kind of closed the door, I feel pretty happy about that."
Erbe, who was sidelined for more than two months earlier this year with shoulder fatigue and hit a rough patch from August 12 to August 24 (three starts) where he only pitched 12.1 innings, expects to make up lost time in the Arizona Fall League.
"The main concern [in Arizona] is to stay healthy, the secondary is to cary over my last two starts," Erbe said of his plans. "Try to cary over throwing strikes and not trying to do too much, mixing up pitches and trying to build up those innings that I missed. I probably would have had 50, 60, or 70 more innings if I had been here the whole time."
Tim Bascom was also able to finish strong, throwing 5.2 innings and earning his first win since June 23, his third start in Double-A. He was saddled with seven losses in his last 11 starts.
"It's been a long time coming," Bascom said. "I don't even remember [the last win], I know I started 2-0."
Bascom and Baysox pitching coach Larry McCall said that his curveball was the best it has been since coming to Bowie and that it was his best pitch Saturday.
Josh Bell supported his pitchers with home runs in each of the games. A three run home run in the first game and a two run home run in the second game. By the time the two games were over he had six RBI's. Bell also contributed in the field, making two good plays in the top of the fourth to take away potential hits.
"Whenever I'm doing well at the plate, it carries over into the field," Bell said of his performance.
Bascom appreciated the support from Bell tonight in helping him get just his third win against seven losses since coming to Bowie.
"I've definitely noticed [Bell's] glove and it's helped me out quite a bit," Bascom said. "His bat is just another bonus on top of that."
Bowie finishes the night still two games back of the Reading Phillies for the final Eastern League playoffs spot despite sweeping Saturday's doubleheader against Harrisburg. Reading swept their doubleheader against Connecticut and the Baysox will be eliminated from contention with a loss or a Reading win. Bowie has two more games left on Sunday and Monday.