The Bowie Baysox found themselves pitted in a tight pitcher’s duel against the Altoona Curve Wednesday night, before late offense and a dominant pitching performance saw the Baysox navigate to a 5-1 victory at Prince George’s Stadium.
Bowie entered the bottom of the seventh in a 1-1 tie, after the two sides exchanged blows in the first inning. The lone run for the Baysox came on a solo home run, the first at the Double-A level, for Max Wagner. That was the lone run Bowie would plate through four frames against Altoona right-handed starter Justin Meis. After stranding a potential go-ahead run in scoring position in both the fifth and sixth, the Baysox would break through in a second inning of relief for left-hander Omar Cruz. A two-out walk to Collin Burns was followed by a Dylan Beavers single that put runners at the corners for Jackson Holliday.
However, before Holliday could even make his impact, Cruz committed a balk that allowed the go-ahead run in Burns to cross home and give Bowie the lead. Just a few pitches later, Holliday hammered an RBI triple to straightaway center field, extending the lead to 3-1 and ending the day for Cruz (L, 1-4) after 2.2 innings.
The pitching staff did plenty of the heavy lifting for the Baysox as well. Right-hander Connor Gillispie, allowed two hits in the first inning, including an RBI double from Matt Gorski that opened the scoring on the evening. However, from there, Gillispie only allowed one additional hit and two additional base runners on the evening. Unfortunately, Gillispie (W, 6-4) would be lifted mid-plate appearance in the sixth inning following a brief check from the athletic training staff, ending with 5.2 innings under his belt, yielding just the one earned run with three strikeouts. The bullpen held serve from there, as 1.1 scoreless innings from right-hander Conner Loeprich and a pair of scoreless frames from Nolan Hoffman (S, 5) carried the Baysox across the line.
The late offense continued on for Bowie in the eighth. A solo home run from John Rhodes and late RBI single from Burns added the insurance for the Baysox.
The win lifts Bowie to 53-57 overall on the season. The Baysox remain a game out of a playoff spot with a 22-19 mark in the second-half. The six-game series with Bowie and Altoona is set to resume on Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. from Prince George’s Stadium.