Baysox home in on June 16 as date for stadium debut

MINOR-LEAGUE NOTEBOOK

June 01, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

After spending 1993 at Memorial Stadium and 2 1/2 months this season as the Eastern League's nomads, the Bowie Baysox are finally going home.

The Double-A team announced yesterday that, barring an unforeseen event, Prince George's County Stadium will officially open June 16.

"Unless there is a prolonged period of rain or an act of God, that is the start date," said Bowie general manager Keith Lupton. "The stadium is rapidly nearing completion."

Although areas necessary to play baseball -- field, seats, concourse and scoreboard -- are ready, there will be some initial inconveniences.

Food services will be maintained in trailers while concession stands and restaurants are finished; the indoor gift shop will not be open; the sky boxes are not started; and some restroom facilities will be portable.

Certain portions of the parking lots probably will not be paved in time, though the foundation of chips and stones is due to be laid, preventing the muddy mess that delayed construction for months.

The Baysox are playing home games now at University of Maryland. They have used Grove Stadium in Frederick, Judy Johnson Field in Wilmington, Del., and the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

In their first 20 dates at those four sites, the Baysox averaged 571 fans.

"I look for a very high per-game average at Bowie," Lupton said. "We've been able to reschedule our fund-raisers, promotions and group-sales nights to after this date."

The new stadium will have a seating capacity of 8,000 and can hold up to 10,000 if standing-room-only areas are used. Lupton does not expect those to be available this season because the grass is not planted.

Lewis out 6-8 weeks

A freakish injury sidelined T. R. Lewis, one of the Orioles' organization's top hitting prospects, for six to eight weeks.

He was sitting in the dugout while his Triple-A Rochester Red Wings teammates took infield practice before the first inning in Toledo, Ohio, on Saturday night when an errant warm-up throw from infielder Manny Alexander broke his left hand.

The ironies of the situation were thick. Lewis, the designated hitter that game, usually plays first base, meaning he would have been receiving Alexander's throw. Alexander is playing four times as much second base as he is shortstop, where he was stationed Saturday. To top it off, Toledo is the only International League park where the visiting team is in the first base dugout.

Lewis batted .326 through his first 39 games with a team-high 28 RBIs. Brent Miller (.295 at Bowie) was promoted to fill his roster spot.

Baysox pile up runs

The Baysox had 37 runs and 43 hits while winning two of three from the host Reading Phillies last weekend.

Rob Lukachyk went 8-for-14 with three homers and 11 RBIs.

Miscellaneous

Obstacles to a new Rochester stadium are crumbling. New York Gov. Mario Cuomo has stated that $15.2 million will be earmarked from the state budget for the project, which is due for groundbreaking in October and completion in April 1996. The $37 million stadium is to be built a mile from downtown. . . . Lewis was hit by pitches from Mark Carper twice in the same game two nights before suffering the broken hand. Sherman Obando was hit on the forearm Thursday and missed the next three games. . . . In his second stint as a Red Wing, Damon Buford hit the third pitch he saw for a home run. In his first seven games, he batted .412 with four homers and 11 runs. . . . John O'Donoghue, who started in the Triple-A All-Star Game last year, was taken out of the Rochester rotation after going 1-3 with a 5.63 ERA in eight games. . . . The Red Wings gave up 50 homers in the first 46 games. The chief victim was reigning league ERA champion Kevin McGehee (36 innings, 9 homers). . . . Two players released by Rochester have hooked on elsewhere. Infielder Jeff Schaefer, a University of Maryland alumnus, is in the majors with the Oakland Athletics, and pitcher Brian DuBois signed with Reading, a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate. . . . Jim Weaver is Rochester's first base coach now that Ed Napoleon has been re-assigned to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles. . . . Outfielder Harold Berrios, the Single-A South Atlantic League Player of the Month, has advanced from Albany to Single-A Frederick. . . . Outfielder Clayton Byrne returned to Frederick from Rochester, and outfielder Keith Eaddy went to Albany from Frederick. Byrne, an Australian, is being tried at third base.

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