BOWIE, MD – Despite a furious comeback and a seven-run eighth inning that included a grand slam from Cesar Prieto, the Bowie Baysox fell just short to the Altoona Curve by a 13-11 final on Thursday night.
After two scoreless frames to kick off the night for right-handed starter Peter Van Loon, the Curve would take control in the third. Altoona sent 10 men to the plate and scored four in the frame. Liover Peguero kicked off the scoring by mashing a two-run double, his fifth extra-base hit of the series. Lolo Sanchez would add a sacrifice fly RBI and Henry Davis plated the fourth run of the frame with a single. That would ultimately end the evening for Van Loon (L, 0-2) after just two and two-thirds innings.
Kade Strowd would take over to finish the third but run into more trouble in the fourth. Back-to-back hits started the frame, including an RBI single from Connor Scott. A single from Puegero and a walk to Sanchez loaded the bases. Strowd would retire the next two batters, but then allow a grand slam to Mason Martin, extending Altoona’s lead to 9-0.
The Curve would tack on an additional run in the fifth on a single from Peguero, giving him three RBI on the evening, before the Baysox would finally get on the board in the bottom half of the frame. After back-to-back walks to TT Bowens and Anthony Servideo, Altoona starter Aaron Shortridge (W, 3-2) surrendered an RBI single to Prieto that plated Bowens, prior to a Coby Mayo sacrifice fly allowing Servideo to cross, cutting Bowie’s deficit to 10-2. Altoona then answered with a three-run home run in the top of the sixth from Claudio Finol to reassert its advantage at 13-2.
In the later innings, the Baysox would chip away. Bowens launched a solo home run for his first Double-A blast to lead off the seventh inning. Then, the first six Baysox batters reached in the eighth inning, with John Rhodes and Donta’ Williams picking up RBI singles to make the score 13-5. Bowens then laced a double to score Rhodes and cut the game to a seven-run affair. Servideo would follow with his second walk of the contest, loading the bases. With two outs, Cesar Prieto mashed a grand slam to right-center field to flip the game on its head. Prieto’s second career grand slam and fourth long ball of the season would make it a 13-10 game.
Right-hander Garrett Stallings would finish his five innings of relief with eight strikeouts, keeping Altoona off the board in the top of the ninth. In the bottom half, Bowie would continue to inch closer. With two outs, Bowens would blast his second RBI double of the game to plate Zach Watson, who doubled to lead off the frame. Servideo would walk yet again, bringing the winning run to the plate in Randy Florentino. Unfortunately, Florentino would strike out to end the game, allowing Curve right-hander Oliver Garcia (S, 1) to shut the door for Altoona.
The loss drops Bowie’s record to 10-24 on the season. The Baysox will look to even the six-game set with the Curve on Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET from Prince George’s Stadium.