A clunky night at PNG Field in Altoona finally settled with the Bowie Baysox back in the win column on Thursday night, as they held on for a 9-8 win over the Altoona Curve. Bowie had led 7-1 at one point early in the night, and they had to survive four errors to leave with the win.
Despite a brief opening that sowed worry, Peter Van Loon turned in his best start of the year. Altoona used back-to-back doubles, one by rehabbing Major Leaguer Ji-Man Choi, at the start of the game to take a 1-0 lead, but Van Loon (W, 2-3) cruised through five total innings for the first time this season, only allowing two additional hits toward the end of his night.
After stranding three runners in the first two innings, Bowie got enough of a push against Sean Sullivan in the third, as John Rhodes tied the game with a double, and Billy Cook gave Bowie the lead with his second home run of the week, a two-run shot. Bowie added two more home runs in the fifth inning to chase Sullivan (L, 2-1) from the game, as Coby Mayo notched his 13th of the year, and TT Bowens put Bowie ahead 7-1 with a three-run blast.
The game took a sharp turn toward Altoona in the sixth inning when Garrett Stallings took over on the mound. Four straight singles to open the frame, followed by an error, sacrifice fly, and groundout led to five total runs and a short day of just two outs for Stallings.
Once Altoona had brought the game to just one run, Bowie put on a pair of eventually necessary insurance runs in the seventh inning, when John Rhodes scored on an error, and Shayne Fontana scored on a double play.
Making his Double-A debut, Keagan Gillies fired 1.1 scoreless innings while striking out a pair of batters, and Kade Strowd worked around a pair of unearned runs on two errors to earn his first save of the season, stranding the tying run at first base in the ninth.
Bowie improves to 29-37 on the season with the win, and they will try to take a lead in the series on Friday. Chayce McDermott will start for the Baysox, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m.