Heston Kjerstad powered his fourth home run in his seventh Double-A contest, and John Rhodes notched three RBI, but it was not enough as the Bowie Baysox fell to the Akron RubberDucks 7-5 on Friday night, behind another late rally which fell short.
Kjerstad’s long ball came in the bottom of the first, when he opened the scoring with a mammoth shot to left-center field to open the scoring. It was the seventh consecutive game the Baysox opened the scoring to start the season. Bowie would add on another run, as Rhodes doubled home Donta’ Williams to double the Baysox advantage.
Right-hander Kyle Bradish started on the mound for Bowie, in a Major League rehab start as he looks to return to the Baltimore Orioles. Bradish was sharp through three innings, only allowing a single hit and striking out a pair.
Things would go south for the Baysox in the fourth, as three of the first four RubberDucks would reach in the frame, before a wild pitch plated a run and then Aaron Bracho blasted a three-run home run to give Akron the lead by a score of 4-2.
Bracho would strike again in the sixth inning against the Baysox bullpen– this time a two-run shot to extend the RubberDucks lead to 6-2. Akron continued its long-ball barrage, as Michael Berglund hit a solo shot of his own to make it a 7-2 RubberDucks lead in the seventh.
As synonymous with the rest of the series, the Baysox made a late offensive surge following mid-game struggles. After just two hits following the first inning, Zach Watson led off the eighth frame with a solo home run. Then, with two outs Williams and Coby Mayo tallied back-to-back hits before Rhodes tripled both home for his second and third RBIs of the night, giving him a team-high eight on the season, and making it a 7-5 contest.
In the ninth, Shayne Fontana drew a walk as a pinch-hitter, making Cesar Prieto the tying run at the plate with two outs. Despite extending his hitting streak to six games earlier in the contest, Prieto flew out to deep left center field, ending the game.
The loss drops Bowie to 3-4 on the season. The Baysox will continue their series with Akron on Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 ET.