The Baysox first hit of the game did not come until the fifth inning as the team fell behind early and never recovered in a 9-3 loss to Reading in Game 3 of the Eastern League Championship Series Thursday. The Baysox now trail Reading 2-1 in the Best-of-5 series.
The Baysox bullpen struggled during a huge fifth inning for the Fightin Phils where they scored five runs to extend their lead to 9-0. Coming off a complete game shutout in the first round of the playoffs, Reading starter Jake Thompson was again solid with seven one-run innings in the win.
Reading struck first in the top of the third inning against Baysox starter Chris Lee. KC Serna hit a lead-off single to the pitcher and moved to second base on a throwing error by Lee. Serna moved to third base on a Nick Williams groundout and scored on a J.P. Crawford sacrifice fly to give the Fightin Phils a 1-0 lead.
The Fightin Phils kept rolling in the fourth inning. Cam Perkins drew a one-out walk and Dylan Cozens followed with a single to right field. With two outs, Harold Martinez brought both runners home with a double to right field to make the score 3-0.
Williams led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run to left-center field to extend the Reading lead to 4-0. Reliever Marcel Prado replaced Lee on the mound to finish the inning.
Reading blew the game open with five runs in the top of the sixth inning as the Baysox were forced to use three pitchers. Reliever Andrew Robinson faced two batters who reached base on a single and fielding error. Donnie Hart then replaced Robinson on the mound and allowed three straight batters to reach scoring three runs. Brock Stassi grounded out to bring home a fourth run and Perkins followed with a single to put runners on the corners. After Cozens walked to load the bases, Stefan Crichton replaced Hart on the mound. Crichton surrendered a sac fly for the fifth run of the inning before recording the final out with Bowie trailing 9-0.
The Baysox got on the board against Thompson in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mike Yastrzemski hit a one-out ground-rule double to left-center field and later scored on a Quincy Latimore single to make the score 9-1.
Bowie added two more runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Reading reliever Stephen Shackleford. Tucker Nathans hit a lead-off home run to right field and Garabez Rosa followed with a single to center field. After moving to second base with two outs, Rosa scored on an Ozzie Martinez single and throwing error by J.P. Crawford to make the final score 9-3.
Lee threw four innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out one and walking two in the loss. Prado allowed two hits and walked a batter while striking out one to complete the fifth inning. Robinson and Hart combined to record one out in the sixth inning and allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits and two walks. Making his Double-A debut, Crichton threw 1.2 scoreless innings and struck out one batter. Baysox reliever Jon Keller finished the game off with two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and walking one with a strikeout.
Be sure to catch the Baysox as they play their first ever home game in the Eastern League Championship Series. Single game tickets are available at www.baysox.com. The Baysox are home for Game 4 on Friday at 7:05 p.m. and will play Game 5 at P.G. Stadium at 6:05 p.m. Saturday if they win Friday.