Thanks to a bizarre sixth inning at Canal Park, the Aeros will live to fight another day.
And they are hoping it will continue beyond that following a 4-3 victory over the Bowie Baysox that staved off elimination and cut their deficit to two games to one in their best-of-five opening-round Eastern League playoff series.
The fourth game will be at 7:05 tonight at Canal Park. If the Aeros win, a fifth-and-deciding game would be played on Sunday at Canal Park.
Trailing 2-0, the Aeros scored four times in the sixth on two singles, two walks and two errors. The Baysox scored a run in the seventh to cut the deficit to 4-3 before Aeros closer Preston Guilmet slammed the door with two perfect innings to earn his 25th save.
Credit a solid effort to Aeros starter Danny Salazar, who allowed two runs on three hits over 5⅓ innings with seven strikeouts on a season-high 101 pitches. Byce Stowell (3-1) earned the victory with 1⅔ innings of relief, giving up one run.
The Aeros had to return from Bowie without the benefit of a travel day after losing the first two games. But home is where the Aeros thrive, posting a league-best 46-26 record at Canal Park. And they had to wait out a one-hour, 10-minute delay at the start as the grounds crew dried a field drenched by a late-afternoon storm.
Buck Britton doubled to lead off the third, and one out later Zelous Wheeler lined a two-run shot high over the left-field fence to give the Baysox a 2-0 lead.
The Aeros’ Davis Stoneburner started the sixth with a double and Robert Perez walked. One out later, Tyler Holt looped a run-scoring single to right center, and a walk to Chun Chen loaded the bases. Jesus Aguilar hit a popup to short right, but the ball bounced off the glove of right fielder Ronnie Welty for an error and Perez scored the tying run.
Matt Lawson’s soft fly was caught by first baseman Rhyne Hughes, who attempted to catch Chen off second as Holt raced home for a 3-2 lead. Adam Abraham’s grounder was booted by third-baseman Wheeler for another error, and Chen scored to make it 4-2.
Wheeler also drove in his team’s third run with a double off the center-field wall.