Bowie Baysox: How to Bounce Back in Game Two
By Arrick Joel
After dropping game one, how can the Bowie Baysox secure a win on Wednesday and even the series?
On Tuesday, the Bowie Baysox hosted the Akron RubberDucks for game one of the Double-A Northeast Championship Series at Prince George’s Stadium. Despite grabbing the lead early, the Baysox fell behind in the middle innings and couldn’t manage a single score outside of the first inning. However, Wednesday’s matchup presents an opportunity to draw even in the series as the Baysox trot out baseball’s highest-ranked pitching prospect.
During the 5-1 loss in game one, the Baysox seemed lost at the plate against RubberDucks starter Peyton Battenfield. Throughout his time on the mound, Bowie scratched across just one hit, a first-inning solo home run off the bat of Bowie’s shortstop, Jordan Westburg. Besides that, Battenfield held the Baysox lineup in check, striking out 10 batters over his seven innings of work.
If Bowie hopes to avoid playing against the ropes in games three, four, and five on the road, they will have to muster up more offense against Xzavion Curry, Akron’s starter in game two, than they did against Battenfield. This season, Curry made 19 starts across three levels of the Cleveland Indians’ Minor League system, posting an ERA of 2.30 and a WHIP of 0.891, meaning a bounce-back performance for the Baysox offense is possible but it certainly won’t be easy.
Thankfully, the Baysox lineup won’t be the only ones facing a challenging arm on Wednesday. RubberDucks hitters will be tasked with Bowie’s Grayson Rodriguez. In MLB Pipeline’s midseason prospect rankings update, Rodriguez was named the top pitching prospect across all 30 organizations in baseball. In his 23 starts combined across Advanced-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie this season, Rodriguez has struck out a staggering 161 batters, averaging 14.1 K/9.
With first-pitch scheduled for 6:35 PM ET on Wednesday, the Baysox will lean on Rodriguez and hope to crack through against Curry to even up the series before heading to Akron for the remaining three games.