BALTIMORE – The Bowie Baysox snapped out of a recent slump with a vengeance by rolling to a 7-2 road victory over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on July 28. That victory, along with a rainout from the Erie SeaWolves game, let the Baysox move back into a tie for first place in Eastern League’s Western Division.
As of July 28, both teams had a 27-10 record during the second half of the season and a big nine-game lead, so it will either be Bowie or Erie that will be take part in the playoffs next month.
Under the new playoff format that the Eastern League is using this year, the season is split it into two halves, with the winner of two halves playing against each other in the first round of the playoffs in both divisions.
If the same team wins both halves, then the team with the second best overall record gets that division’s No. 2 spot.
In their fourth game against Binghamton, Bowie used homers from Cedric Mullins and Martin Cervenka for the victory on July 28 to salvage one game of the four-game series.
Right-hander Tyler Herb got the win after going six innings and giving up two runs. Relief pitcher Cory Sedlock came on and threw three hitless innings to earn his first professional save.
The game was tied at two in the sixth when the Baysox took charge. Mullins came up first and connected with a home run to right field. Infielder Rylan Bannon started the seventh with a triple and came in on a Preston Palmeiro double for a 4-2 lead.
Mason McCoy then drove in his second run of the day, an RBI single, which gave Bowie a 5-2 lead. Cervenka extended their advantage in the ninth with a two-run home run for the 7-2 final.
“Everyone is still in the middle of their development,” Manager Buck Britton said. “We want to continue seeing guys build off what they have been doing and continue to go.”
The series began on July 25 when Binghamton pulled out a 3-2 victory in 11 innings. Bowie nearly won the game in the 11th when Bannon singled, and outfielder Ryan McKenna tried to score. However, he got thrown out at the plate by left fielder Jason Krizan. A Quinn Brodey sacrifice fly won the game for Binghamton in the bottom half.
Left-handed pitcher Zac Lowther threw six solid innings but came away with a no-decision. Carlos Perez hit a solo homer early while Yusniel Diaz sent the game into extra innings with an RBI single in the top of the eighth.
The Rumble Ponies then handed Bowie a 6-0 loss the next night, the first time the Baysox had lost consecutive games since June 23 and 24. Starting pitcher Alex Wells struggled and gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings as the offense could not help him, finishing with just six hits. The losing streak increased to three games on July 27 when Binghamton edged Bowie 2-1.
Right-handed pitcher Mike Baumann gave the Baysox another solid start. He allowed one run on six hits in six innings but also came away with a no-decision.
Bowie took the lead in the fourth inning of this game thanks to back-to-back doubles from Valentin and Bannon. Valentin’s run made it 1-0, but the Rumble Ponies rallied again, and a Krizan sacrifice fly in the eighth proved to be the difference.