AKRON- The Akron Aeros wasted a two-run ninth to drop a heartbreaker to the Bowie Bayson in 12 innings, 4-3.
The Aeros seemed to be on the track to yet another bad loss at home after an awful 7th inning, and a four game losing streak was all but reality. That was, until the bottom of the ninth inning began.
The Aeros got started quickly, however, for the second straight game.
After Aeros starter Toru Murata
shut down the Baysox in the top of the first, second baseman Jose Ramirez
got the bottom of the inning started by hitting a shot back at Baysox starter Tim Bascom
who was able to glove the ball and fire it to first of the first out of the inning. While it may have been the first out of the game, the hard hit from Ramirez set a tone for the Aeros.
Center fielder Tyler Holt
got the first hit of the evening for the Aeros when he roped an opposite field single through the hole between first and second base. Cedric Hunter
, a new arrival from Columbus thanks to Chun Chen’s callup, hit a line drive single over the head of the shortstop. Aguilar connected with the third straight single of the inning, bringing in Holt and giving the Aeros a 1-0 lead.
Bascom settled down and didn’t allow another run for the next three innings of his start. In four innings, Bascom allowed four hits and one earned run, while striking out three. After the first inning, in which he allowed his only run, he allowed only a single base hit that was quickly erased thanks to a double play.
He was replaced by right hander Eric Beaulac
in the fifth, who immediately allowed a single to catcher Roberto Perez
. The rest of the fifth consisted of some helpful defensive efforts from the Baysox.
Shortstop Ronny Rodriguez
roped a liner that looked as if it would get past second baseman Cale Iorg
, but Iorg took a giant leap and nabbed the ball at his apex, giving the Baysox the first out of the inning. Third baseman Giovanny Urshela
then struck out looking, and Perez took off running. Unphased by the late jump, catcher Brian Ward
threw out Perez for the inning ending double play.
Iorg, the son of former Major League Baseball player, Garth Iorg
, and nephew of another former player in Dane Iorg
, continued his great day, but this time it was on the offensive side of the ball. Iorg took a Murata offering and swatted it to deep right field. The ball looked as if it would ricochet off the wall, but instead cleared it and landed in the bleachers, tying the game for Bowie at 1-1.
Things fell apart for Murata and the Aeros in the top of the seventh. After striking out left fielder Caleb Joseph
and getting designated hitter Aaron Baker
to flyout to right field, Murata allowed Waring to hit a seemingly meaningless single. Garabez Rosa
roped the hardest hit ball of the night over the head of right fielder Carlos Moncrief
and into the wall in front of the bullpen. The hit easily scored Waring to give the Baysox a 2-1 lead, but an errant relay throw from Rodriguez to Urshela at third base allowed Rosa to score as well. The triple and subsequent error gave the Baysox a 3-1 lead and ruined what was an otherwise great start from Murata.
Murata’s outing, while marred by Rosa, went seven innings and included five hits, three runs, two earned runs, one walk, and eight strikeouts. Through six innings, Murata allowed only three hits and a single run on the solo dinger from Iorg.
Beaulac pitched 2.2 innings of shutout baseball, only allowing two hits and one walk on the afternoon. His defense certainly played a part in his performance, but he was great once the leadoff man was out.
Right handed relief pitcher Austin Adams
replaced Murata and, after getting centerfielder Kyle Hudson
to fly out to center, allowed Ty Kelly
to drive a ball to deep left field, over the head of Lattimore and off the wall for a double. After Kelly’s drive, Adams walked shortstop Niuman Romero
to give the Baysox men on first and second with one out. Fortunately for the Aeros, Adams settled in, struck out Joseph, and got Baker to fly out to end the inning and the threat.
After the Aeros couldn’t get anything going in the eighth and Aeros reliever Bryan Price
’s 1-2-3 top of the ninth, Akron was down to their final three outs to try to make something happen.
Hunter started off the inning with a 3-0 count, but Schrader brought it back to 3-2 and Hunter fouled one back to the catcher for the first out. Schrader fell behind 3-0 to Aguilar and, again, was able to bring it back to 3-2 before Aguilar took ball four and the tying run came up to bat in the form of Moncrief.
Kendall went to his bullpen after the walk and brought in lefty Jason Gurka
to create the favorable lefty-lefty matchup with Moncrief. Moncrief took the first Gurka pitch and hit a chopper to first for the second out of the inning and moved Aguilar to second base. Gorka then hit Lattimore with a pitch and with men on first and second with two outs, Perez came up to the plate and knocked in Aguilar with an RBI single, cutting the lead to 3-2 in favor of the Baysox.
Next up was Rodriguez who rolled over a ball to the shortstop that seemed like it would be the final out of the game. Romero grabbed the ball with his barehand and tossed it to first base. Waring did a split at first base to try to get the speedy Rodriguez, but he beat the throw. Meanwhile, Lattimore rounded third and headed for home on some very heads-up base running. Waring was unable to make the throw home, Lattimore crossed the plate, and the Aeros tied the ball game up at 3-3.
With two men on and two outs, Urshela was next to bat and delivered. A weakly hit ball to right field got down in front of the right fielder Rosa and the race was on. Justin Toole
, who was pinch running for the slower Perez, rounded third and Rosa delivered a strike to homeplate. The ball got there before Toole began his slide, and the Baysox saved themselves when Toole was called out to end the ninth with the score tied at 3-3.
Bryan Price came back out for the tenth, and again went three up and three down to bring up the Aeros with a chance to get a walk off win.
Rodriguez struck out swinging to start the inning off for Bowie reliever Tom Boleska
, but Holt followed with a single after falling to 0-2 in the count. With an out and a man on, Hunter grounded to second base but avoided the double play thanks to a great slide from Holt. Aguilar was up next with two outs and, even after an errant throw from Ward to right field on a Carson base-stealing attempt that took him to third base, was unable to move the runner home on a ground out to the shortstop Romero.
After a scoreless eleventh inning, and two outs in the twelfth, Brian Ward finally gave the Aeros the knockout blow.
Just as Iorg did before, Ward smacked an offering from Aeros relief pitcher Bryce Stowell
deep to right field that barely made its way just over the short porch in right. The BaySox regained the lead for the first time since the ninth inning, and never looked back.
The first two Aeros batters went down in order, but Holt smacked his third hit of the game off the centerfield wall and made it into third with a triple. With two men out and the tying run on third base, Matt Carson
stepped to the plate.
After whiffing on the first pitch, Carson hit a ball deep to right field, but it wasn’t deep enough, as if fell into the glove of Rosa. The Aeros couldn’t muster enough offense to come all the way back, and fell 4-3 in 12 innings.
When asked about the tough stretch the Aeros have been on, manager Edwin Rodriguez
put things in perspective. “These aren’t tough times. These guys have been through tough times. We’re losing games right now, but these aren’t tough times. This is a 140 games season, and we’ve only played about 46, 45 games. We’re struggling right now, but eventually things we’ll switch. They just have to keep going, and things will turn around.”
The Aeros will certainly try to turn it around tomorrow night against Bowie from Canal Park.
First pitch is set for 7:05.