Three-run ninth sparks Baysox to 2-0 series lead

September 08, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Bowie Baysox are one victory away from the Eastern League championship series, but they had to undergo another battle of attrition last night to get there.

After playing a scoreless duel with Harrisburg through eight tense innings, the Baysox hit for the cycle in the ninth against Senators closer Alberto Reyes and won, 3-0, before 3,321 fans at RiverSide Park.

The victory gave Bowie a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five series for the league's Southern Division title with the scene shifting to Prince George's County Stadium tonight.

Reyes set a Senators and Eastern League record with 35 saves this season, but he was no mystery to Bowie after right fielder Phil Dauphin made a diving catch of Scott McClain's drive to open the inning.

Pinch hitter Rob Lukachyk, 0-for-8 off the bench this year, launched the rally by pounding a 2-0 pitch over the right-field fence for his 11th homer.

"I'm more of a starter than a guy coming off the bench," he said. "And I haven't had much luck off Reyes. But after I hit that ball, I don't even remember touching first base."

Clayton Byrne then doubled to left, Curtis Goodwin tripled to the center-field wall and Edgar Alfonzo singled up the middle against a drawn-in infield to account for the other two runs.

Although the Senators got the tying run to the plate in the bottom half after two two-out singles, Joe Borowski preserved the shutout by striking out Gary Hymel.

"Going up 2-0 and going to our place with 11,000 fans behind you, we've got to feel good," said Lukachyk. "Well, we're feeling good, but not too good."

One reason why may be the Senators' history. Harrisburg, the defending league champion, lost the first two games of the title series to Canton-Akron at home last season, but won all three in Ohio.

It was another stirring game -- although of a different ilk than Tuesday's opener when the Baysox and Senators fought through nine topsy-turvy innings of ties and lead changes before Bowie won in the 10th.

This time, starting pitchers Brian Sackinsky and Mike Mimbs dominated most of the game.

Sackinsky, the Baysox's most consistent starter the final four months, had a perfect game through 4 1/3 innings and a no-hitter through 4 2/3 before Mike Hardge singled.

He went seven, surviving a two-on jam in his final inning, allowed only two hits and struck out nine.

"I was pretty tired, ready to come out after that," said Sackinsky, who has pitched 29 innings against Harrisburg and allowed three runs.

"I don't know what it is," he said. "Certain teams you just match up with."

Reliever Chris Lemp pitched a scoreless eighth, but received a big break. After walking leadoff man Matt Rundels, Dauphin strangely bunted on a 2-2 count with Rundels running on the play. Dauphin hit it in the air to Lemp, who converted an easy double play.

BAYSOX PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

BOWIE BAYSOX vs. HARRISBURG SENATORS

Eastern League semifinal series

(Best of five; Baysox lead, 2-0)

Game 1: Baysox, 7-6 (10 innings)

Game 2: Baysox, 3-0

Tonight at Bowie: Senators' Rafael Diaz (9-8 , 4.41) vs. Baysox's Scott Klingenbeck (7-5, 3.63), 7:05

Tomorrow at Bowie* 7:05

Saturday at Harrisburg* 7:05

*-If necessary

Radio: WNAV (1430 AM), WMJS (92.7 FM)

Note: Winner advances to Eastern League championship series against winner of New Haven-Binghamton series.

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