Baysox make 5 errors, drop playoff opener, 7-2 Harrisburg's Vazquez allows 2 hits in 6 innings; Minor leagues


HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Bowie Baysox limped into the Eastern League playoffs with nine losses in 14 games, and last night their troubles persisted at muggy RiverSide Stadium.

With a pitcher familiar to Marylanders limiting them to two hits for six innings, the Baysox dropped the first game of the Southern Division championship series to Harrisburg, 7-2.

Javier Vazquez, ace of the Montreal-affiliated Delmarva Shorebirds last season, was almost untouchable, yielding only a second-inning single to Johnny Isom followed by a double by Melvin Rosario that knocked in a run.

Meanwhile, Vazquez's teammates were building a 4-1 cushion against loser Billy Percibal with Izzy Alcantra's home run in the bottom of the second starting the surge. Alcantra hit 27 homers during the regular season.

John Pachot doubled in another run in that inning, and Percibal yielded three extra base hits in a two-run sixth. Three of the five Bowie errors also contributed to the Senators' scoring.

Vazquez entered the game with a 4-0 record and 1.07 ERA since being promoted to Double-A from West Palm Beach.

Harrisburg, the defending league champ, has been comfortably in postseason play for a week while Bowie had to scramble to make it on the final day when the Senators beat Reading.

After bailing Vazquez out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, left-hander Tim Dixon finished for the Senators and weathered a mild scoring threat in the ninth to earn a save.

Hut Smith pitches for the Baysox tonight against Harrisburg's Neil Weber.

NOTES: Four players were added to the Baysox's roster after Frederick was eliminated from the Single-A Carolina League playoffs. Included was pitcher Chris Fussell, who threw 7 2/3 no-hit innings in Monday's 3-2 loss to Lynchburg. Also included were reliever David Mastrolonardo, infielder Jerry Hairston and outfielder Wady Almonte. If the series goes to Game 4 Friday at Bowie, fireworks will follow the game.

Pub Date: 9/03/97

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