BOWIE, Md. – Closing the deal was a surprisingly difficult task for the Bowie Baysox on Tuesday night, as they dropped their series opener with the Richmond Flying Squirrels 7-3.
Bowie went 1-for-13 at the plate with runners in scoring position, and they stranded a runner at third base in five different innings.
Making his second start in a return from a latissimus strain while with Triple-A Norfolk, Grayson Rodriguez took the first two innings of the game for Bowie, striking out two batters in the first inning. Rodriguez (L, 0-1) allowed a run on a double and a wild pitch in the second inning, but still finished with four strikeouts.
Left-hander Cade Povich took the third inning for Bowie, anticipating carrying multiple innings, but instead could not finish the third inning. Povich allowed the first five batters of the third inning to reach base, including a bases loaded walk, while Richmond plated four runs.
Bowie needed to turn to their bullpen early, as Adam Stauffer and Jensen Elliott both worked scoreless into the eighth inning.
Richmond starter Keaton Winn was dealing with constant baserunners, but held his line over the first four innings, stranding at leas one runner in scoring position in three of the frames. After the fifth inning opened with a hit-by-pitch, Bowie plated two runs on an RBI single by Coby Mayo, and a wild pitch by Winn (W, 2-2).
Reliever Ofelky Peralta struggled to locate the strikezone after the sixth inning, walking the bases loaded in the seventh, but Bowie only earned one run from the scenario, while Richmond shifted to Evan Gates and Clay Helvey to keep Bowie from marching forward.
With Bowie within two runs, Jake Prizina allowed a string of three two-out-hits, including a two-run home run to Shane Matheny, pushing the game back out of reach.
The loss sinks Bowie to 63-64 on the season, and 36-22 in the second half. Bowie and Richmond will continue their six-game series with Richmond on Wednesday, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.