Unearned Runs Lead To Akron Loss, 2-0 Series Deficit
BOWIE – The Akron Aeros fell to a 2-0 series deficit against the Bowie Baysox in a 7-5 loss on Thursday as the Aeros couldn’t overcome the Baysox two-run eighth inning.
Lefty T.J. House (10-5, 3.56) received the nod to start for the Aeros against Bowie right-hander Mike Wright (10-5, 4.06). The Aeros were attempting to recover from a stellar outing by Bowie phenom Dylan Bundy on Wednesday night, but House could not hold the damage to a minimum.
The Aeros struck first as right fielder Jordan Henry led off the game with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt that resulted in an error. Henry went on to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of designated hitter Lonnie Chisenhall to give the Aeros the 1-0 lead.
The Baysox battled right back in their half of the inning as second baseman Ty Kelly hit a two-out double to center and scored on a single by left fielder Robbie Widlandsky to level the score.
Bowie took the lead in the second inning due to a solo home run off the bat of right fielder Ronny Welty, who also hit a home run during Wednesday’s game.
Akron tied the game again as second baseman Matt Lawson was plunked with a two-out pitch and third baseman Adam Abraham drew a walk. Cue shortstop Ryan Rohlinger, who singled into center to score Lawson and even the score at 2-2.
The Baysox used the long ball again in their half of the fourth as designated hitter Caleb Joseph homered deep to center to regain the lead. First baseman Rhyne Hughes followed with a double to left and scored as third baseman Zelous Wheeler laced a single to regain the Baysox lead.
Akron kept the battle going as they plated one in the fifth as Henry singled and scored on a double by centerfielder Tyler Holt.
Wright lasted until the sixth inning, where Akron plated two more to keep the game within reach. Lawson led off with a triple and scored on a two-run shot by Rohlinger, which ended the day for Wright, whose final line was sealed at 5.1 innings pitched, yielding five runs on seven hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
Trey Haley entered the game to replace House in the sixth, ending House’s evening with five innings pitched, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out two. Widlansky welcomed Haley with a walk and Joseph followed with a single into left. With two out, a fielding error by Aeros’ first baseman Chun Chen loaded the bags to set up catcher Brian Ward, who was hit by a pitch to push a run home and tie the game.
After a scoreless seventh inning, Bowie took advantage of Shawn Armstrong, who entered the game to pitch the eighth for the Aeros. With two out, Ward reached on another error, this time by Abraham at third. Centerfielder Antoan Richardson followed with a double to advanced Ward, who went on to score on a wild pitch. The Baysox tacked on one more insurance run in the form of a soft single into right by shortstop Jon Schoop, advancing Bowie to the 7-5 lead.
The two-run cushion was more than enough for Bowie reliever Kyler Newby, who retired the side in the ninth to preserve Bowie with the 7-5 win and 2-0 series advantage.
Thursday’s loss puts the Aeros in a must-win situation as they head home on Friday. Danny Salazar (4-0, 1.85) is slated to start for Akron against Bowie left-hander Jake Pettit (11-3, 3.86).
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.