Barker’s price is right: Bowie righty baffles Squirrels
Bowie right-hander Brandon Barker baffled Richmond over six innings on Tuesday night to earn the win in a 4-1 Baysox victory at Prince George’s Stadium.
Barker bested Jordan Johnson, who lasted seven innings despite the loss. Baysox outfielder Cedric Mullins lifted a three-run home run over the left field wall in the third inning to provide Barker with the offensive support. The loss markes the first time this season Richmond has dropped three consecutive games.
Bowie’s Barker established his fastball early for the Baysox, striking out five batters through the first two innings. He pitched around a one-out single from Carlos Garcia in the first and a one-out walk in the second.
Johnson was also in control in the first two innings and worked around a one out double in the first inning before retiring the side in order to end the second. The righty then encountered trouble to begin the third inning when he walked the first batter Adrian Marin. Jay Gonzalez reached on a bunt base hit up the third base line and Cedric Mullins lofted a home run over the right field wall for a 3-0 lead.
Barker was able to utilize his defense to keep Richmond off the board in the third inning. Brandon Bednar and Chris Shaw both reached to start the frame, but Hunter Cole had a hit taken away on a diving effort from right fielder Jay Gonzales. D.J. Stewart followed that with a play in front of the bullpen wall for the second out and first baseman Aderlin Rodriguez snared a line drive to end the Richmond threat. The Squirrels had runners on base in the first five innings.
Bowie added an unearned run in the fourth for a 4-0 advantage. Gonzales lined a two-out single to rightfield and advanced to second base on catcher’s interference. Drew Dosch then delivered an RBI single to center. Dosch had three hits in the contest and reached base on his first seven plate appearances in the series.
Johnson (0-1) shook off the unearned fourth run and turned in the longest outing of the season for a Squirrels pitcher. The hard-throwing righty finished sevein innings in just his second start of the season and allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits in the loss. He walked one and struck out five.
Barker (1-1) earned the win and was replaced by Jesus Liranzo to start the seventh inning.
He lasted six innings and allowed no runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out eight.
The Squirrels scored their lone run in the top of the eighth to pull to within three runs, Slade Heathcott doubled to open the inning and scored on a flare base hit off the bat of Brandon Bednar.
Reyes Moronta hurled a scoreless eighth inning for Richmond and Bowie righty Ryan Meisinger countered with a scoreless ninth to earn his first save of the season. Richmond had the tying run at the plate in the ninth, but could not bring in a run. The Squirrels left nine men on base in the defeat. .
The Flying Squirrels continue their first road trip of the season on Wednesday night with game three of the four game series against Bowie at 6:35 p.m. Richmond left-hander Matt Lujan (0-0, 1.29) will take the ball against the Baysox lefty John Means (1-0, 2.53).
The Flying Squirrels return to The Diamond on Friday, April 21st against Reading. Season tickets, mini plans and group outings are available by contacting the Flying Squirrels box office at 804-359-3866 or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com