Squirrels Begin 2nd Half on Losing Note

Bowie, MD (WWBT)- The Bowie Baysox compiled 11 singles and stormed from behind to claim a 7-2, victory over the Flying Squirrels in the opener of a four-game series at Prince George's Stadium on Thursday night. With the win, the Baysox took possession second place in the Western Division.

Pitching dominated the first four innings of the ballgame, but the Squirrels were finally able to break through first against Bowie right-hander Oliver Drake in the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Drake registered his eighth strikeout of the night, fanning Francisco Peguero. However, strike three was in the dirt, and Peguero reached on a wild-pitch. That allowed Charlie Culberson to come to the plate, and he decked a hanging-curveball over the left-field fence for a 2-0 Richmond lead. It was the seventh blast of the season for Culberson and his second hit of the night.

Meanwhile, Squirrels' right-hander Henry Sosa was cruising. He worked quickly through five scoreless innings, allowing just four singles and not allowing a runner past first base.

However, the Baysox scrapped a run across against him in the seventh. Xavier Avery delivered a one-out single into center field, and advanced to second when Sosa balked. Buck Britton then squibbed a ball back to the mound that Sosa couldn't handle. Nick Noonan gobbled it up behind the second base bag, but lost his footing and threw wildly past first base. His throw wound up in the Bowie dugout, as Avery scored and Britton wound up at second base. The run was unearned against Sosa, but the Baysox were back within a run, 2-1.

The wheels fell off for the Sosa and the Squirrels in the bottom of the seventh inning. Caleb Joseph led off the inning with a single into center field. Brandon Waring followed and singled through the left-side of the infield. Pedro Florimon beat out an attempted sacrifice-bunt to load the bases with nobody out. Sosa recovered to strike out Ronnie Welty, and Richmond went to the bullpen for left-hander Alex Hinshaw. Kyle Hudson flared a single to left field to tie the game, 2-2. Hinshaw then struck out Avery, but Britton cracked a two-run single into center field for a 4-2 lead. A final run scored in the inning on a wild-pitch from Hinshaw, and the Baysox left the frame in the lead, 5-2.

Sosa was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs, three earned, over 6.2 innings. He gave up eight hits on the night.

Drake snapped back into form following Culberson's drive, retiring the next 12 batters to take the Baysox to within an out of victory. He walked Monell to snap that string, but finished a complete-game victory by flying out Juan Perez to center field to end the ballgame. Going the distance, Drake allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out 10.

Hudson singled in a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning, capping the scoring for the evening. Hudson finished the ballgame 2-for-4 with three runs driven in. The Squirrels fell to 6-13 overall against the Baysox on the season, and 2-8 at Prince George's Stadium.

Game two is set for Friday night at 7:05 pm.

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