[Via email from the Montgomery Biscuits' broadcaster Jon Laaser.]
A five-run sixth inning propelled the Biscuits to a 7-4 win over the Mobile BayBears in the opener of a five-game series on Thursday night at Riverwalk Stadium.
The BayBears forged ahead against Brandon Mann in the first inning, as Evan Frey sparked Mobile with a leadoff bunt-single. A hit-and-run single followed from Mark Hallberg and the BayBears put runners on the corners with nobody out. Pedro Ciriaco made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Biscuits pulled even against BayBears' starter Tom Layne in the second inning. Layne, making his Double-A debut, walked J.T. Hall with two out and Matt Spring pushed him to third with a double to the left-field corner. Rashad Eldridge tied the game with an RBI single.
Mobile got the lead back in the third as Mann walked Ciriaco with one out. He promptly stole second base and came home on an RBI single from Pete Clifford. The lead expanded to 3-1 in the fourth when Cyle Hankerd doubled off Mann to start the inning. Matt Tupman singled him to third and Chris Rahl lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score him.
Layne attempted to stretch into the sixth inning with ill-fated results for Mobile. He walked Cody Cipriano with one out and the flood-gates opened for the Biscuits. Matt Fields followed with a single and Layne walked Cody Strait to load the bases before departing. Kyler Newby entered and promptly balked home Cipriano. He walked J.T. Hall to reload the bases before delivering a wild-pitch that plated Fields to tie the game, 3-3. Spring was at the plate for the wild-pitch and he then launched a three-run home run, changing the landscape of the ballgame and putting the Biscuits on top, 6-3.
Layne (0-1) was charged with four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings to take the loss, his first at the Double-A level. Mann (6-7) earned the win for Montgomery, working six innings and allowing three earned runs on seven hits. Newby allowed two runs in relief, both in the sixth inning.
Mobile got a run back off of Ryan Reid out of the Biscuits' bullpen in the seventh inning. Chris Rahl contributed the first of three straight singles, scoring on the third, a single for Hallberg.
Paul Phillips worked two strong, scoreless innings to close out the win, striking out two to earn his sixth save of the season. Eldridge added a second RBI single to cap the scoring for the Biscuits in the eighth inning.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Friday night at Riverwalk Stadium. RHP Brian Baker (5-3, 3.04) will make the start for Montgomery against RHP Wes Roemer (6-7, 4.08) for Mobile.