BOWIE, Md. – The Altoona Curve erased a 6-0 deficit with a game-tying homer in the eighth from Bligh Madris and a ninth-inning, go-ahead home run by Chris Sharpe to beat the Bowie Baysox, 8-6, at Prince George’s Stadium on Sunday.
The Curve (51-45, 16-13) took advantage of three key walks by Baysox (53-45) pitchers to avoid a four-game sweep.
The biggest free pass was worked by Mitchell Tolman to keep the top of the ninth going after two quick outs by left-hander Zach Muckenhirn (Loss, 2-3). Sharpe, the next hitter, hammered an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence to lift Altoona to an 8-6 lead.
Sharpe sparked a three-run sixth for Altoona when he singled home Arden Pabst from second base, who reached on a lead-off walk against Bowie starter Michael Baumann. The next batter, Jared Oliva , singled Sharpe to third to end the day for Baumann after 5.2 innings. Reliever Steven Klimek threw a wild pitch that plated Sharpe from third and Logan Hill capped off the inning with an RBI double to left.
The Curve put two runners on for Madris in the eighth after Oliva’s second single and Hill worked a walk against Jay Flaa. With two strikes, Madris smashed a three-run homer to right field and evened the score, 6-6.
Austin Coley (Win, 2-2) and Jesus Liranzo teamed up for four scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Coley worked around a pair of two-out hits by Bowie in the eighth and bounced back with a double play and a game-ending pop out when the Baysox singled twice to start the ninth.
Bowie led 6-0 after five innings and scored all six of their runs against Curve starter Sean Brady . In the second, T.J. Nichting hit a solo homer to left before singles from Preston Palmeiro and Ryan Ripken set up a sacrifice fly for Willy Yahn. The Baysox put up three more in the third resulting from a lead-off triple byRyan McKenna and RBIs from Yusniel Diaz, Nichting and Palmero. During the fifth, Ripken roped his third hit of the game for a double that brought in Nichting from first base.
Brady’s six runs allowed snapped a seven-start stretch with consecutive quality starts.
Baumann mowed down his first nine Curve hitters faced before Tolman singled to right to start the fourth, snapping a streak of 14.1 hitless innings by the right-hander over three starts from July 11-21, including his nine-inning no-hitter for the Baysox in his previous start on July 16. Bauman was responsible for all three runs for Altoona in the sixth, breaking his scoreless streak of 24 innings.
The victory was Altoona’s 30th comeback victory of the year.
The Curve head home to begin a four-game series against the Erie SeaWolves on Monday at 6:30 p.m. The Curve will start left-hander Brandon Waddell (2-1, 2.67) versus right-hander Alex Faedo (5-5, 3.64) for the SeaWolves.