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BALTIMORE — The Bowie Baysox did not race out of the starting gate when the 2019 season began last week on a positive note.
Bowie dropped three-of-four games in Harrisburg and the Baysox lost the first three games of the season before avoiding a four-game sweep with a 6-2 victory on April 7.
In that game, Zac Lowther tossed five shutout innings in his first game at the Double-A level. He was the Baltimore Orioles’ second-round pick in the supplemental phase of the 2017 draft and pitched well.
A five-run third inning helped him get the win. Bowie loaded the bases in the third before Rylan Bannon lined a three-run double to left field for a 3-0 lead. Harrisburg protested that the ball was foul, but the call was not changed, and the Baysox had the lead for good.
Then, Yusniel Diaz, acquired in the Manny Machado trade last summer, followed with a two-run homer for a 5-0 lead.
The bullpen held up after Lowther (1-0) came out. Tanner Chleborad fanned four of the seven batters he faced to lock up the victory.
But those were the only positives that Baysox could take from this opening series as the Senators won the first three.
In the opener on April 4, Harrisburg scored an 8-4 victory. A three-run homer from Rhett Wiseman and a grand slam from Chuck Taylor helped the Senators to an 8-1 lead.
Preston Palmeiro (the son of former Oriole Rafael Palmeiro) got an RBI double while Anderson Feliz added a two-run homer to make the final score closer.
The next night’s game was rained out, so both teams played a doubleheader on April 6 where Harrisburg swept Bowie, 6-5 and 4-2.
The Baysox jumped to a 5-0 lead in the second inning of the first game. Sean Miller and T.J. Nichting each had RBI singles that gave the Baysox a 2-0 lead. Ryan McKenna then belted a three-run homer to right that stretched the lead to 5-0.
The only problem was Bowie could not hold it. Starter Hunter Harvey blanked the Senators through three innings but then ran into trouble as Harrisburg chipped away and tied the game at five.
Wiseman locked up with a bases-loaded walk-off sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Bannon homered for a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap. Chris Clare’s RBI single in the second made it 2-0.
Drew Ward then turned things around with a three-run homer off starter Dillon Tate. Wiseman got a solo homer in the sixth for the 4-2 final.
However, Bowie was able to pull out one win in Sunday’s finale. The Baysox headed to Richmond after that earlier this week and will have their home Opening Night April 11, again facing Harrisburg, this time at 6:35 p.m.