The season is over for the final Baltimore Orioles affiliate standing as Trenton defeated Bowie three games to one to win the Eastern League Championship.
It was a fantastic second-half of the season and playoff run for the Baltimore Orioles affiliate, but the Bowie Baysox lost game four of the ELCS to the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees affiliate) by a score of 5-2 in front of a crowd of 2,413 at Prince George’s Stadium on Friday.
As a result, the Thunder won the 2019 Eastern League Championship three games to one; it was the fourth time in history and the first time since 2013 that Trenton has won the E.L. crown.
The main storyline of the game was similar to that of game three: a lack of hitting by the Baysox. Bowie managed four hits in the game (compared to three hits in game three) and were in fact, held hitless for five and two-thirds innings before outfielder Cedric Mullins launched a home run to right-center off of rehabbing Yankee pitcher Dellin Betances. Rony Garcia started for the Thunder and pitched the first five hitless innings; he struck out six and walked one.
Infielder Anderson Feliz had a multi-hit (2) game for the Baysox and homered with one out in the ninth inning to give the Bowie faithful a glimmer of hope. Catcher Carlos Perez accounted for the fourth Baysox hit. In the end it was just not enough.
Catcher Kellin Deglan homered for the Thunder off Tyler Herb in the second inning to start a three-run rally and from there Trenton never looked back. An inning later, first baseman Chris Gittens hit his second home run of the series off of Tayler Scott to essentially put the game out of reach. Deglan, who went 5 for 14 (.351) with four runs scored and four RBI was named the series MVP.
As a team, Bowie hit just .171 (22 for 129) with 42 strikeouts and 16 walks against Trenton pitching throughout the four game series. They did manage nine extra-base hits, however. The Baysox were paced by Mullins (.267, 4 runs scored, 2 RBI) and Feliz (.250, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI) who hit one and two in the lineup, respectively, the entire series.
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Bowie manager and Eastern League Manager of the Year Buck Britton used essentially the same lineup all series long. The exception was when he used Ryan Ripken (game 4) and Brett Cumberland (game 2) as the designated hitters instead of Yusniel Diaz. The same eight players appeared in all four games and the only spot in the lineup that fluctuated was the number eight spot.
Outfielder TJ Nichting, who batted eighth and played right field in games two and three, was outstanding (.500, 2 runs scored, 2 RBI) while Diaz served as the DH. Diaz and catcher Carlos Perez, who hit .286 and .267, respectively, in the series went a combined 1 for 8 in the do-or-die game Friday. The bottom line is that the middle of the Baysox lineup simply failed to hit for most of the series.
On the mound, LHP Alex Wells and RHP Cody Sedlock provided the main highlights. Wells made a quality start (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 8 K) in his game 3 loss while Sedlock pitched 5.0 solid innings in his game 2 victory.
Despite the sting of finishing as runners-up, the Baysox had a solid season, one in which they went from a 7-23 start to finish 76-64 and qualify for the playoffs; they should hold their collective heads high. It was their 46-26 second-half performance that earned them a chance to play for the championship.
Even though they fell short, the Baysox provided fans with an exciting season as many players now hope for good things in 2020 not only in Norfolk (AAA) but possibly in Baltimore as well.