HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The baseball gods were not with the Bowie Baysox yesterday.
Evidence to that effect came quickly, when their first-inning bid was defused by a double play and Harrisburg's turned into a three-run outburst.
Harrisburg, the defending league champion, travels today to play Portland, which beat Norwich, 10-9, in the Northern Division final.
A two-run, eighth-inning double by Jose Fernandez off Baysox relief ace Jason Bullard clinched the outcome before a modest crowd of 1,523, including several hundred Bowie fans.
"We didn't start out lucky today, and we didn't get much luckier," said Baysox manager Joe Ferguson.
Bowie made its most serious thrust in the sixth, closing to within 4-3 on a two-run single by Johnny Isom against Tim Dixon.
But with runners on first and third and one out, Isom was caught in a rundown and tagged after Melvin Rosario had fouled out to the catcher. The Baysox made no more threats against Dixon and the league's top closer, Ben Fleetham.
"That's something we worked on in spring training: first and third, one out, ball hit behind the catcher," Isom said. "The person on first tags up and then the person on third tags up as soon as the ball is thrown. It didn't work out."
"We just didn't execute it properly," said Ferguson. "We [Dave Dellucci was the runner] didn't break from third. He was watching the play."
In the first, with David Lamb on first, Howie Clark hit a scorching line drive to deep right field. Scott Samuels made a nice catch, then easily doubled up Lamb, who was running all the way.
"He never looked at the ball. He thought it was a hit," Ferguson said of Lamb.
In the bottom of the first, Chris Fussell showed some jitters by hitting Senators batters with two of his first four pitches. Then Clark booted a potential double-play ball to fill the bases, and one out later, Trace Coquillette beat out a high chopper to score the game's first run.
John Pachot doubled home two more for a 3-0 Senators lead before Fussell settled down to pitch a respectable game.
Shorebirds 3, Alley Cats 2: Curtis Charles and Darrell Dent singled in the two decisive runs in a two-out, fifth-inning rally as Delmarva held on to beat Charleston (W.Va.) in the third game of their best-of-three South Atlantic League semifinal series.
Delmarva begins the best-of-three league championship series tomorrow night at 7 at home against the Greensboro Bats.
Pub Date: 9/07/97