Billy Cook has had numerous big swings this season for the Bowie Baysox. Tuesday night might have brought his biggest swing yet, as he clobbered a walk-off, three-run home run to complete just the second 20/20 season in Baysox franchise history and lift Bowie over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats by an 8-5 final.
Cook’s game-winning blast capped off a huge night for him, as he tallied a career-high four walks and also swiped a pair of bags – giving him 30 stolen bases on the season.
Early on, Cook was a focal point of the Baysox jumping out to a 4-1 lead. After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the third, Cook walked for the second time on the evening in the bottom half of the frame, scoring to tie the game on a Dylan Beavers triple. Beavers later came home on a Jud Fabian sacrifice fly to give the Baysox a 2-1 advantage. The lead swelled to three runs with a solo home run from Greg Cullen in the third, and a bases loaded walk to Donta’ Williams that forced home a run in the fifth. Bowie’s efficient start was also headlined by five innings of one-run baseball from right-handed starter Brandon Young, who allowed a solo home run to New Hampshire’s Riley Tirotta as his lone blemish, striking out five.
In the sixth, however, the game shifted. Right-hander Kade Strowd entered on the mound for Bowie, who walked a batter and allowed three hits in his lone frame of the night, including a two-out, three-run double to Rainer Nunez that allowed the Fisher Cats to tie the game in the sixth. New Hampshire took the lead in the top of the seventh, after Michael Turconi advanced to third on a single from Tirotta and scored on a throwing error committed by Bowie shortstop Gilbert Lara.
The Baysox once again showed resolve in the late innings, loading the bases with no one out in the eighth, before Anthony Servideo notched a sacrifice fly to score Donta’ Williams and knot the game at five.
That scoreline held until the bottom of the eleventh, thanks in part to a stellar Double-A debut from right-hander Dylan Heid, who fired three scoreless innings, only walking one batter while striking out three. Heid (W, 1-0) stranded the go-ahead run at third in the top of the eleventh. Then, in the bottom half, the stage was eventually set for Cook. With New Hampshire’s Joe Jones (L, 2-2) on the mound, Servideo was intentionally walked to open up the frame and with one out, Cook stepped up to the dish to crush a no-doubter to left field to help Bowie walk-off as winners.
With the home run, his twentieth of the campaign, Cook completes the first 20/20 season with the Baysox since DJ Stewart in 2017. It serves as Bowie’s ninth walk-off win of the season and keeps the Baysox within two games of the Richmond Flying Squirrels for the second half playoff spot in the Eastern League’s Southwest division.
Bowie’s overall record now sits at 62-65 – 31-27 in the second half. The Baysox are set to continue their six-game series with the Fisher Cats on Wednesday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. from Prince George’s Stadium.