Spoone will get the ball on opening night for Bowie

Right-hander Chorye Spoone will be the opening night starting pitcher on Thursday at Harrisburg when the Double-A Bowie Baysox open their 19th season.

Manager Gary Kendall announced his rotation at the Baysox media day at Prince George's Stadium this afternoon. Steve Johnson will pitch the second game and will be followed by Rick Zagone, Tim Bascom and Eddie Gamboa.

"Anytime they say you are first out of the chute, it's exciting," Spoone said. "It's not like the pressure is on you, but you want to go out and throw like six or seven innings and that could set the tone. My goal is to keep us in the game and throw well."

Spoone, a member of the O's 40-man roster, is returning to Double-A after going 7-6 with an ERA of 4.02 in 24 starts here at the Double-A level last year. Baysox starters will likely be limited to five or six innings in the first few starts.

Joe Mahoney will start at first base for the Baysox with Greg Miclat at second, Pedro Florimon at short and Brandon Waring at third. Billy Rowell, in his first season at Double-A, will play some at first and third. Carlos Rojas is a solid backup infielder that can play second, short and third.

Caleb Joseph will be the starting catcher, backed up by Steve Lerud. Outfield starters are Xavier Avery, Ronnie Welty and Robbie Widlansky. Also on the roster in the outfield is Jeff Fiorentino, who played in Japan last year.

With not many players moving up from Bowie to Triple-A, all but three players here now played with the Baysox at some point last summer.

Also, there is a new turf here at the stadium which should improve the playing conditions and help with drainage on those rainy days and nights. Head groundskeeper Matt Parrott headed the installation of the new turf, which was completed in November.

The Baysox home opener is here on April 14 vs. Erie.

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