Crowley's two-out single lifts Baysox in ninth, 5-4

April 08, 1995|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

BOWIE -- Last season was a nightmare for Jim Crowley, who batted a combined .196 in Single-A and Double-A and ultimately was released by the Boston Red Sox organization.

But last night, before 3,967 at Prince George's County Stadium, Crowley started his second minor-league career with a big bang.

His two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Clayton Byrne with the winning run as the Bowie Baysox scored their first Eastern League victory of the season, 5-4, over the Norwich Navigators.

Byrne drilled a triple off the left-field wall to launch the decisive rally against Navigator reliever Kent Wallace, who had retired the first four hitters he faced.

"It's a good start," said Crowley, son Minnesota Twins coach Terry Crowley, the all-time Orioles pinch-hit leader. "I know one game does not make a season, but this one feels awfully good. Hopefully, the hard work this winter has paid off."

Crowley is happy to be in the Orioles' system, in the new digs of the Bowie stadium and with a team that has made the league playoffs in its previous two seasons.

"It's nice to be in this stadium with great fans," he said. "In New Britain we never had much success. One year we lost our first 12. This is all different."

The game-winner marked the third RBI of the game for Crowley, a free-agent signee by the Orioles.

The hit gave the victory to Chris Lemp, the fourth Baysox pitcher, who had blown a save opportunity by giving up a two-run single to pinch hitter Steve Phillips in the top of the eighth inning.

Baysox manager Bobby Miscik wouldn't fault Lemp -- or any of his pitchers, for that matter.

"You can call it a blown save, but I thought Lemp and the other three guys all did outstanding jobs," said Miscik. "They should feel pretty good about themselves."

Scott Emerson, one of the Bowie starters who is on a pitch limit of 75 to 90, went five innings, no-hitting the Navigators for four before losing control in the fifth.

Two walks got him into trouble before Robert Hinds delivered a two-run single. Emerson escaped further damage by throwing a double-play pitch to Kevin Riggs.

Long man Scott Conner was also impressive before tiring and Aaron Lane faced one man, Nick Del Vecchio, who hit a ground ball but reached safely on the play, tying the game at 4-4 in the eighth.

With two on, Del Vecchio grounded the ball into the hole, and Bowie shortstop Ken Arnold's only play was to third. He threw to Crowley, but runner Kevin Riggs was ruled safe, loading the bases.

"I kind of juggled the ball and the runner's leg got tangled up with mine, so he ruled I was off the base. He didn't slide, so it was a hard one to judge," said Crowley.

Phillips followed with the hit off Lemp that tied the game.

Crowley's two-run double highlighted Bowie's four-run third against Norwich starter Mike Buddie, the victim of two errors and his own wild pitch in the inning.

Catcher B. J. Waszgis accounted for the other Baysox RBI, knocking home Crowley during the uprising.

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