Both ends of the Bowie Baysox battery had all sorts of problems last night, and the Albany-Colonie Yankees sensed the uneasiness and took complete advantage in a 12-4 rout before 7,410 fans at Memorial Stadium.
Bowie's Gregg Zaun, still recoving from tendinitis, was starting at catcher for only the second time since his return from the disabled
list and it was apparent that his arm strength was nowhere near 100 percent. Albany stole five bases in the first three innings.
"He's used to throwing runners out, and he just can't do that now," second baseman Brad Tyler said of Zaun, who was replaced in the fifth inning by Cesar Devarez. "What we need is for the pitchers to hold runners on. I can see why he wants to play."
Starting pitcher Eric Schullstrom (5-7) didn't have a chance to worry about keeping runners close because he was suffering himself. The Yankees tagged him for seven runs and six hits in three innnings.
The Yankees strategy, to take as many free bases as Zaun would allow, was obvious when Rich Barnwell singled to lead off the game and immediately stole second. Robert Eenhoorn walked and then the pair pulled off a double steal. One out later, Kevin Jordan's ground ball to shortstop scored Barnwell.
After the Baysox scored twice in the bottom of the first -- thanks to a Brent Miller two-run homer -- Albany came back and scored four times in the second after two were out. Joe DeBerry doubled, then Schullstrom issued walks to Gordon Sanchez and Barnwell before Eenhoorn hit a grand slam to left.
Any chances Bowie had for a big comeback were erased in the third, as Lyle Mouton and Jason Robertson both swiped bases and eventually scored in a two-run inning.
Zaun came back from the disabled list Thursday . He started at catcher Friday night in a 6-4 Bowie win. The Baysox liked their chances with Zaun catching -- they were 28-16 with him behind the plate entering yesterday's game.