A three-run eighth inning rally proved to be the difference as the Akron RubberDucks took down the Bowie Baysox 7-4 in the series opener Thursday night.
Bowie got the first run of the game, when T.J. Nichting drove in Martin Cervenka in the second inning with a sacrifice fly. Baysox starter Hunter Harvey struck out a season-high seven batters over four plus innings of work, but allowed a home run in the third and a three-run fifth inning before exiting the game with his team trailing 4-1.
The Baysox battled back, starting in the sixth when Martin Cervenka drove in Rylan Bannon with a single. In the seventh, Bowie loaded the bases thanks to three walks, and then Yusniel Diaz singled in two runs to tie the game at four.
Brian Gonzalez gave the Baysox outstanding work out of the bullpen, retiring nine of the ten batters he faced over three innings after replacing Harvey.
However, Tyler Erwin struggled in the eighth, allowing four runs on three hits, as Akron took a 7-4 lead. RubberDucks’ closer James Karinchak struck out the side in the ninth to preserve the victory.
With the win, Akron moved to 5-9 on the year, while the Baysox dropped to 3-11. The second game of the series will be Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.