The Double-A Harrisburg Senators could not have asked for a better way to start the campaign than a season-opening 5-0 shutout of rival Bowie before 4,042 at Metro Bank Park on Thursday.
Right-hander Brad Meyers tossed five innings of scoreless ball, scattering four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. He twice struck out the side for his first win of the season.
"My fastball was on the first couple of innings," Meyers said. "I was finding my spots pretty good. They started to figure out the fastball a little bit so from there I mixed in my changeup and slider. All my pitches were working."
The Senators scored three times in the third inning on the strength of four free passes and two RBI hits. Tyler Moore and Buck Coats had the run-scoring hits. Moore finished with a pair of base hits and two RBIs.
"The whole team looked good," Meyers said. "From the defense to timely hits, the pitching staff and relievers, everyone contributed. Josh Johnson made a huge play behind me that saved two runs. I think the best part was that we had no walks as a staff."
The Senators' pitching was definitely the big headline of the night, as they made life miserable for the Baysox.
The Senators struck out 15 Baysox in the win. Henry Rodriguez struck out three in his two innings of rehab work, Pat McCoy pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts and Ryan Mattheus wrapped up the whiff parade with a punchout in the final inning.
Meyers was thrilled to be able to pitch and not worry about the foot problem that had slowed him last season. He said it was an unusual feeling to be pain-free.
"I had no trouble with the foot at all," Meyers said. "I am not used to feeling completely healthy. For me to not to have anything to worry about was a great feeling."
Did Meyers think this was a career game? He said it was not like a no-hit game, but it ranked right near the top.
"It was definitely up there as far as my better outings because of the strikeouts," Meyers said. "I wasn't trying to strike them out. I was trying to make my pitch. That is what I am trying to do out there is to make them hit my pitch and get ground balls."
But in the end, Meyers said he was just pumped up to finally start the season and the results were very satisfying.
"I was so anxious to get out there," Meyers said. "I was fired up but not nervous at all. I was just excited to be healthy enough to pitch again."