BOWIE, Md. - Held to three hits and one run last night, the Double-A Bowie Baysox were no-hit through five innings tonight. When they finally got something going, it was not enough and too late.
The Trenton Thunder beat Bowie 5-2 tonight to win the Eastern League Championship Series three games to one. Trenton wins its fourth Eastern League championship and first since 2013. Bowie, which won the title is 2015, is denied a second Eastern League championship.
After a very poor 7-23 start to its season - when the Baysox had the worst record in all of the minors - Bowie really got rolling in May and June, and rode that to a second-half Western Division title to make the playoffs. They beat Harrisburg three games to one in the semifinal round but the run for a title ended here tonight.
Bowie right-hander Tyler Herb went 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA over his last seven regular season starts. But after he threw a scoreless first tonight, Trenton got to him for three runs and four hits in the top of the second and never trailed.
Catcher Kellin Deglan led off batting lefty and lifted a fly ball down the left field line. It stayed fair and went out for a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Rashad Crawford’s RBI single made it 2-0 and a Zach Zehner RBI double extended the lead to 3-0.
Herb was taken out after two innings and 45 pitches as right-hander Tayler Scott came in relief. Chris Gittens was the first batter he faced and the 2019 Eastern League MVP homered to right for a 4-0 Thunder lead.
Trenton 21-year-old right-hander Rony Garcia threw five no-hit innings with six strikeouts at Bowie. Right-hander Dellin Betances, here on a major league rehab assignment, entered in the sixth and Trenton lost the no-hitter and shutout on one swing.
Center fielder Cedric Mullins homered to right-center off Betances to make it a 4-1 Trenton lead. Through that at-bat, Mullins was 12-for-33 (.364) with two homers, 10 runs, five RBIs and five steals in eight postseason games.
Bowie second baseman Anderson Feliz homered to left with one out in the ninth to acount for the final margin.
But Bowie was held to four hits tonight and produced just three runs and seven hits over the last two games of this series. Trenton won both games here to break a 1-1 tie in the series and take the championship.
Mullins on Trenton’s strong pitching: “It was tough. They came out and competed. We didn’t have our best stuff today at bat and it cost us. They were able to spot balls well and it took us a while to make the adjustments.”
Manager Buck Britton on Bowie’s season overall: “What a ride. Being 7-23 to start things off and then standing here in the championship. When you are with a group of guys they become family. You celebrate with them and hurt with them. I hope, especially the fans see, that there is some talent here. I know the situation right now in the big leagues but I think things are going to start turning up for us.”
Britton on what his players should take from this: “There are so many positive things to take away from this season. Tonight is tough to swallow. But these guys did a heckuva job, man. There is a lot of character in that room. I’m proud of the guys. They should be proud of themselves.”