Stanton Cameron made the trip from emergency room patient to ninth-inning hero yesterday.
Beaned last Thursday by Canton-Akron pitcher Chad Allen, Cameron delivered the game-winning single in a 2-1 Bowie Baysox victory before 5,608 at Memorial Stadium.
"I couldn't ask for anything better," he said after the Baysox (15-7) reclaimed second place in the Double-A Eastern League from Canton-Akron (13-7).
Cameron spent three hours at Union-Memorial Hospital Thursday night after an Allen fastball caught him under the helmet and just behind the left ear. He was X-rayed and released.
"Allen called the hospital and asked how I was doing," he said. "It wasn't intentional."
Because Cameron was still experiencing dizziness Saturday, Baysox manager Don Buford kept him on the bench until the eighth inning yesterday. Then, with left-hander Mike Gardella pitching for Canton-Akron, Buford sent up the right-handed Cameron as a pinch hitter. The Baysox trailed, 1-0, at the time.
Cameron bounced a single to left, and scored the tying run on a single by T. R. Lewis, a sacrifice bunt and an error.
Hitting in the ninth, Cameron had to face sidearming right-hander Mike Soper with Tim Holland on second after **TC single and stolen base.
"I wasn't scared to get back in the box," he said. "There was no fear factor. You can't be scared as a hitter."
Cameron worked the count to 3-2, then pulled a pitch foul through the third-base coaching box, where the sprawling Buford had been. He sent the next pitch to the warning track in the right-field corner, scoring Holland easily.
The game ended with a momentary glitch, though, as Cameron was called out for passing teammate Gregg Zaun halfway between first and second.
"I should know better," he said. "Luckily, it wasn't two outs. I won't let it happen again."
One day after the Baysox resorted to shock troops on the pitching mound in a 20-4 loss to Canton-Akron, they got a well-pitched game from Jose Mercedes and Jim Dedrick.
Mercedes struck out five and walked none in a six-inning stint that ended with a broken blister on his middle finger. He left the game in the seventh after giving up a bases-empty home run to Tracy Sanders.
Dedrick (2-1) got the victory with three innings of one-hit relief.
NOTES: The Baysox, who lost Chito Martinez as well as Cameron to injury last week, might lose one more outfielder today. In the wake of the neck injury to Orioles outfielder Mike Devereaux, Buford said Baysox center fielder Jeffrey Hammonds could be called up to Triple-A Rochester today. Hammonds is hitting .300 through 20 games. . . . After hitting home runs in three consecutive games, Bowie's Brent Miller failed to get the ball out of the infield in a 1-for-4 performance. . . . Cameron has a six-game hitting streak (8-for-18). . . . Holland, who went 3-for-4, has hit in seven of his past eight games (9-for-31).