BOWIE, Md. - The Double-A Bowie Baysox, after completing a 3-4 road trip to Harrisburg and Richmond with back-to-back wins the past two days, open their home season tonight at 7:05 against Akron and Kevin Gausman will start on the mound.
This will be Gausman's first time pitching at Prince George's Stadium. The Orioles' 2012 first-rounder made a start for Bowie on the road in the playoffs last September, pitching three scoreless inningswith five strikeouts. He made his 2013 season debut last Saturday at Harrisburg. Over four innings, he gave up eight hits and six runs (four earned) with no walks and eight strikeouts. He threw 84 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Yes, it is the ultimate small sample size of one game, but in that outing Gausman gave up three hits over 11 at-bats against lefty batters and right-handed batters went 5-for-11 against him with a double and homer.
Here is tonight's Baysox lineup:
CF Xavier Avery
LF Kyle Hudson
2B Ty Kelly
DH Lew Ford
3B Zelous Wheeler
RF Buck Britton
1B Aaron Baker
C Brian Ward
SS Garabez Rosa
While Bowie ranks 10th out of 12 Eastern League teams at this early stage with a 5.40 team ERA, the Baysox lead the Eastern League in batting average (.298) and runs (48), while placing second with an OBP of .366.
Several players are off to hot starts:
* Avery is batting .353 with seven runs and four doubles.
* Ford is hitting .320 with four doubles and a homer.
* Kelly is batting .391 with six walks and a .516 OBP.
* Ward is batting .385 with eight RBIs in just three games.
* Wheeler is batting .375 with four doubles and five RBIs.
Avery and Wheeler are tied for the league lead in hits with 12. Caleb Joseph leads the league with five doubles and his seven RBIs is two off the lead.
Bowie has won its last four home openers since a loss in 2008.
The Baysox trailed Richmond 6-0 last night but rallied for an 8-7 win. The Baysox had 30 come-from-behind wins on their way to the playoffs last season and this was their first of 2013.
I hope to check in with manager Gary Kendall later after batting practice, so check back this afternoon for more notes from Bowie and updates tonight during the game with Gausman on the mound.