BALTIMORE – The Bowie Baysox found some success in last week’s Eastern League All-Star Game and continued their positive run as the second half of the season continued in an away series against the Akron RubberDucks.
Pitchers Alex Wells and Zac Lowther both threw a scoreless inning while infielders Mason McCoy and Rylan Bannon each added a hit in the Western Division’s 5-0 victory over the Eastern Division on July 10 in Richmond.
McCoy went 1-for-2 batting leadoff and scored the game’s first run in the first inning. He doubled and later scored on a groundout for a 1-0 lead that the Western Division never lost. The shortstop called the experience “a blessing” and “an unbelievable experience.”
“Just to go out there and play well, we really represented Bowie and the Baltimore Orioles really well,” McCoy said. “It was incredible and a great time.”
Bannon also finished 1-for-2 while Wells and Lowther both threw their scoreless innings in the Western victory.
“It is what those guys have been doing for us all season,” Manager Buck Britton said. “The Baysox were all over the box score and that was great to see.”
When play resumed the following night, Bowie scored a 3-0 victory over the RubberDucks. Right-hander Michael Baumann threw six shutout innings, struck out nine and allowed only one hit.
The Baysox supported Baumann with single runs in the third, fourth and eighth innings. In the third, outfielder Cedric Mullins made it 1-0 on an RBI double. One inning later, catcher Carlos Perez fired off his seventh home run of the season and then added an RBI single in the eighth. Closer Dillon Tate came out in the ninth to collect his fourth save of the year.
Then, on July 12, first basemen Preston Palmeiro stretched Bowie’s winning streak to six in a row with an RBI single in the 10th inning for a 6-5 victory. The Baysox rallied with two in the ninth before Akron tied it with one in the bottom half that forced extra innings.
The following night saw the RubberDucks end the winning streak with a 10-7 victory, thanks to a four-run eighth inning.
Bowie led 7-6 in the eighth inning on a Bannon two-run triple. There was a strange delay as fireworks from a local festival went off as pitcher Pedro Araujo began to warm up.
Bowie needed to wait 15 minutes to get back onto the field, giving Akron enough time to regroup as they answered back with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Araujo gave up four runs on one hit but none of the runs were earned due mostly to a fielding error that let two runs score which set up more trouble.
The Baysox rebounded on July 14 with a 4-2 victory, led by Lowther’s sterling 6 and 2/3 inning effort. He gave up one run on one hit and fanned eight without a walk, improving to 10-5 this season.
Outfielder T. J. Nichting and catcher Martin Cervenka both drove in runs on sacrifice flies. Nichting later added an RBI single while outfielder Yusniel Diaz drove in a run with a double.
Tate came through again in the ninth, closing the door for his fifth save.
The bottom line is that Bowie keeps winning, bouncing back from their slow start to the season. After the 3-1 series in Akron, Bowie improved to 18-5 in the second half of the season and held a 2 ½-game lead over the Erie SeaWolves for first place in the Western Division.
The Altoona Curve was one game behind Erie as Bowie was firmly in the hunt for a playoff spot.
“Credit to these guys for not giving in after April because they could have,” Britton said. “It would have been easy to throw in the towel; we were out of it. And now, we are almost two games out of having the overall record in our division so the comeback has been tremendous.”