Tonight’s playoff live blog: Welcome to tonight’s live blog from Bowie where the Baysox host Akron in Game 1 of a best-of-five playoff series.
I will post notes and updates during tonight’s game which will begin at 7:05 p.m. with Dylan Bundy making the start. Feel free to post any comments or questions you have in this blog.
Akron takes the early lead: With one out in the top of the second, the Aeroes Matt Lawson hit a solo homer to left off Bundy for a 1-0 lead. Now the Baysox are batting in the last of the second.
Bundy struck out the side in the first around a one-out double. The runner advanced to third with one out before Bundy fanned Lonnie Chisenhall and Chun Chen.
Through two innings, Bundy has allowed three hits and one run with no walks and four strikeouts. He has thrown 31 pitches, 23 for strikes so far.
Through four: It’s still a 1-0 Akron lead. Bundy has allowed five hits and the one solo homer along with no walks and six strikeouts. He has thrown 59 pitches with 44 being strikes.
Hughes homers: Rhyne Hughes, who played in 14 games for the Orioles during the 2010 season, hit a two-run homer to left in the last of the fourth to give Bowie a 2-1 lead. Hughes hit 13 homers in 75 regular-season games and connects there to also score Robbie Widlansky who singled ahead of his long ball.
Bundy done for the night: Mike Belfiore has come on to pitch as the seventh inning begins here. Bundy is finished after six innings and 93 pitches. He threw 63 for strikes.
His line tonight: 6 IP, 6 hits, 1 R-ER, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts.
He allowed the one run on that solo homer and had a pretty solid outing with Dan Duquette looking on from behind home plate.
Meanwhile, the Baysox added to their lead with solo homers from Ronnie Welty in the fifth and Ty Kelly in the sixth to open a 4-1 lead. They have three homers tonight.
The bats were cooking: The Baysox finished the regular season as the top scoring team in the Eastern League with 697 runs and were also the fourth highest scoring team in Baysox franchise history. Over the first two months of the season the Baysox averaged 3.88 runs per game, but, beginning in June they averaged 5.52 for the remainder of the season. The Baysox had by far the most walks in the league with 584 and the highest on-base percentage. They also led the league and set a franchise record in doubles with 266.
Playoff experience: Five Baysox players were on the 2011 Carolina League champion Frederick Keys. Jonathan Schoop, Brian Ward, Jake Pettit, Chris Petrini and Jason Gurka were all part of that championship club.
Baysox manager Gary Kendall says this Bowie group is a close-knit team and he said this year has been about as much fun for him as a skipper as any of the nine years he’s had managing in the Orioles’ organization.
“We have a really special group in here, guys that like to be around each other,” Kendall said. “These guys have played hard and stayed humble. They know we can get beat. Their work ethic is really good.
“We haven’t had any drama with this team. We’ve got a lot of guys that just go about the game the right way. They are just a bunch of low maintenance players. These guys are focused.”
Final: Bowie takes Game 1 over Akron 4-2. I’ll be back with postgame quotes in a while.