February 1, 2023
Annapolis, US 31 F

Baysox claim Western Division crown

The Bowie Baysox punched their ticket to the 2019 Eastern League Championship Series by defeating the Harrisburg Senators, 12-5, in Game Four in front of 2,761 at FNB Field Saturday afternoon.

The early-inning home run barrage from Game Three resumed two pitches into the matinee tilt. Cedric Mullins greeted Senators starter Carson Teel with a solo home run to the left field seats, giving the visitors a quick 1-0 advantage. One inning later, Jesse Valentin followed suit and hit his first home run since July 12 to nearly the same spot to double the advantage.

Bowie sent all nine batters to the plate during the five-run second inning. A pair of singles followed the Valentin long ball and set the table for Brett Cumberland, who plated Ryan McKenna on a sacrifice fly to left-center field.

One batter later, Preston Palmeiro homered to the Senator bullpen in right field to score Mason McCoy on the third round-tripper of the game. Yusniel Diaz drove a single to right field for the inning’s sixth hit, with Mullins beating the throw home.

The hosts broke up the shutout bid with a run in the third inning, but the Baysox immediately responded with a run in the fourth inning. Mullins singled and stole second base, and then scored his third run in as many at-bats on a flared RBI single down the right field line by Diaz for the right fielder’s second RBI of the contest.

The offense put an exclamation point on the afternoon with five runs in the seventh inning. McCoy placed an opposite-field double on the right field line to score Valentin for his second hit of the game, while Palmeiro scored both McKenna and McCoy on a two-run opposite-field double into the left field corner for his third hit and fourth RBI of the day.

Mullins, meanwhile, sent a two-run triple to center field for his fourth hit, scoring Cumberland and Palmeiro. In the ninth inning, the leadoff hitter grounded a double down the first base line to record the first Bowie cycle since Manny Machado’s in 2012.

The 20 hits set a new single-game playoff record for the most hits allowed by Harrisburg, while Cedric Mullins’ five-hit day set a new single-game playoff record for an individual batter against the Senators.

The early production was plenty for starter Alex Wells, who picked up his first win since a July 15 contest against the Senators. The lefty struck out six batters and scattered six hits while allowing one run in the quality outing.

Zach Muckenhirn and Luis Gonzalez completed the afternoon for Bowie, who face Trenton in a best-of-five championship series, beginning Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. in New Jersey. Tickets for Game Three on Thursday night in Maryland are available online at Baysox.com or at the Prince George’s Stadium box office.

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