Drew Rom worked a magical 54-pitch, five-inning outing of perfection and the Baysox bullpen took the reins in a pivotal 3-1 win Friday night. The win over Altoona moves the Baysox within a victory of a spot in the 2021 Double-A Northeast League Championship Series with two games to play.
The Baysox are now on the doorstep of their third-ever trip to the championship series. If Bowie wins one of their final two games they will clinch a spot. If they lose both and Akron loses both games to Somerset, the Baysox will also be in. Bowie has played for a league title just twice in their preceding 27-year on-field history.
This evening, Bowie got out to an early lead. Jordan Westburg doubled to left-center, leading off the first and the throw to second got away. Westburg popped up out of his slide and took third. He then quickly scored on a throwing error from Curve pitcher Jeff Passantino on a comebacker to the hill off the bat of Patrick Dorrian and Bowie had a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning after a Shayne Fontana infield single, Dorrian got into one. He launched his 21st home run of the season, a two-run shot to right and Bowie’s lead was 3-0.
Rom was supplanted by the relieving trio of Tyler Burch, Ryan Conroy and Diogenes Almengo who combined to allow just an unearned run in four innings of work. Almengo notched his 15th save of the year.
With the win, Rom finishes 2021 as the winningest pitcher in the Orioles farm system with 11 wins. Altoona committed five errors in the game. The Baysox will try to clinch a third ever spot in the finals Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. with Orioles rehabbing lefty Bruce Zimmermann making the start.
Bowie will wind up the regular season this week with daily games with the Altoona Curve through Sunday, September 19th.