BOWIE – Despite earning a one-run lead in the fourth inning, the Bowie Baysox were unable to stop a surging Richmond Flying Squirrels team which scored four unanswered runs for a 6-3 victory in front of 2,091 fans at Prince George’s Stadium on Aug. 16. The loss puts a dagger into Bowie’s already slim playoff […]
BOWIE – Despite earning a one-run lead in the fourth inning, the Bowie Baysox were unable to stop a surging Richmond Flying Squirrels team which scored four unanswered runs for a 6-3 victory in front of 2,091 fans at Prince George’s Stadium on Aug. 16.
The loss puts a dagger into Bowie’s already slim playoff hopes. Momentum was building for the Baysox after winning four of their last five games, including scoring 25 runs in the first three games in their series against Richmond.
However, the Baysox bats were silent in the series finale as they were only able to collect three hits.
“We are a little frustrated because we had been playing good baseball recently,” shortstop Erick Salcedo said. “It has been an adjustment because this has not been a good year in terms of victories. However, we are trying to show the best of ourselves to get better results. Sadly, we have not been able to get it done and have lost games as a result.”
Richmond jumped on the board early after outfielder Matt Lipka hit a solo home run in the second inning. Three batters later, right fielder Luigi Rodriguez hit a line drive into center field for an RBI single, increasing the Flying Squirrels’ advantage.
Bowie right-hander Dean Kremer, who’s averaged 7.4 strikeouts in his five starts since arriving via trade in July, struggled early. The Stockton, California native threw 50 pitches in his first two innings, gave up four hits and allowed two runs.
“He elevated many of his pitches, and he got hurt,” Baysox Manager Gary Kendall said. “He did not command his breaking ball over the plate well tonight and took him a lot of pitches to get outs. But he kept us in the game, and we had a chance to win. It was not one of his better performances, but he kept us in the ball game.”
Bowie tied the game in the third inning after runs were scored on a fielder’s choice groundout with the bases loaded and an RBI single by first baseman Aderlin Rodriguez. Salcedo gave the Baysox their first lead in the fourth inning after hitting a quick soft pop-up to center field, bringing in outfielder Ryan McKenna.
For the 25-year-old Venezuelan, it was his second hit of the contest, making it his 18th multihit game of the season. Salcedo said that he knew that his offensive production needed improvement. He only has a batting average of .224, the lowest since his rookie year, and Salcedo said he has been working with the Baysox staff to get better.
“Little by little, my hitting adjustments have been working,” Salcedo said. “It gets a little hard to gain a rhythm with so many at-bats in a week, but it is important to keep working at it and keep playing my game defensively, which is my strong suit. They need complement each other for me to succeed in improving by the end of the season.”
It would be the last of Bowie’s offensive damage as they were shutout for the remaining five innings. Despite walking five Baysox batters, Richmond starter Chase Johnson still struck out three in 85 pitches during his five-inning performance.
Right-hander Ryan Halstead came in relief and pitched three shutout innings while striking out two and allowed no hits.
Kremer improved as the game progressed though, retiring three batters during the process. However, he was pulled in the fifth after Richmond’s Caleb Gindl hit a double to drive in the tying run and then, loaded up the bases for the second time. He threw for five and one-thirds innings, gave up eight hits and allowed four runs in his appearance.
Relief pitcher Tanner Chleborad could not stop the Flying Squirrels either. He allowed two hits and walked batters twice, including with the bases loaded, increasing Richmond’s lead. Left fielder Dylan Davis’ two sacrifice plays, grounding out into a double play and a fly-out, drove in two more runs for Richmond’s win.
“We did not pitch well, had some base running blunders and we didn’t make key plays,” Kendall said. “We just did not execute, and we did not play well. And all and all, it is 6-3 in the ninth, all you need is three hits, and you still have a chance. But it was just not meant to be.”
With less than a month remaining in the season, including nine home games remaining, players who provided a spark will continue earning more playing time, Kendall said. They will get a chance to improve their sub .500 record (29-32) at home on Aug. 22 in the first of two games against Richmond.
“We have to start playing a little better at home. This is our home field, and we always play hard at home. And that is a good trait we have, we always play hard, show the best of ourselves and try to get the win. We just have not got the wins at home, and it is just frustrating. We want to get wins we get on the road at home.”