Despite four home runs on the evening, including three from John Rhodes, the Bowie Baysox were unable to hang on to an early three-run lead, as they fell to the Akron RubberDucks, 8-6, on Friday night at Prince George’s Stadium.
NOTE: The event below, Arts Alive 25, was held on September 8, 2023.
The night had started with a 68-minute rain delay due to a brief thunderstorm rolling through the area. However, after the late start, it took very little time for both lineups to get rolling. Bowie plated three runs in the bottom of the first against Akron right-handed starter Ross Carver. Billy Cook laced a leadoff solo shot on the first pitch he saw. Two batters later, Rhodes hit his first of the evening as he lifted an opposite field shot down the right field line. Later in the frame, Shayne Fontana singled and crossed home on an error for the early edge.
From there, the see-saw nature of the affair developed. Right-handed starter Jean Pinto allowed a leadoff single to Juan Brito, who eventually came home to score from third on a double-steal to get the RubberDucks on the board. After Donta’ Williams walked to lead off the second and scored on an RBI groundout from Cook to pad Bowie’s lead back to three runs, Akron quickly bounced back to tie the game. With two outs in the third, Jonathon Rodriguez laced an RBI double to left-center to make it a 4-2 game, before Brito hit a two-run shot to tie the game.
Rhodes quickly swung momentum back with the Baysox on his second solo home run of the night, this time to left field, to restore the Baysox advantage at 5-4. The day for Carver would end shortly after, as the right-hander fired just 2.2 innings, before right-hander Tanner Burns took over on the mound.
That score would hold through four frames, before right-hander Tyler Burch relieved Pinto in the fifth. With one out, Rodriguez launched a solo home run to left, tying the game at five. Akron would go on to take the lead in the sixth, loading the bases with a pair of singles and a walk. Angel Martinez then notched the third hit of the inning for the RubberDucks, an RBI single to give Akron its first lead of the night at 6-5. The RubberDucks tacked on an additional run via an RBI fielder’s choice on a ground ball from Rodriguez – his third RBI of the night. Burch (L, 0-3) allowed all three earned runs in his two frames, striking out a pair.
Burns continued to keep the Baysox bats off the board. The right-hander totaled 3.2 scoreless innings, before Rhodes came to plate and crushed his third home run of the night to get Bowie back within a run. It ended the night for Burns (W, 3-3), who allowed just the one run through his 3.2 innings on four hits with six strikeouts. Friday night marked the first career multi-home run game for Rhodes and the seventh three home run performance in Baysox franchise history.
Akron would get their two-run lead back with an Aaron Bracho sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth off right-hander Keagan Gillies. In the bottom of the ninth, Jackson Holliday singled for his second hit on a 2-for-5 night in his Double-A debut, but it would not be enough, as right-hander Bradley Hanner (S, 6) kept Bowie off the board.
The loss drops the Baysox to 36-46 on the season. Bowie continues this three-game set against Akron Saturday, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. from Prince George’s Stadium.