READING, PA – The Bowie Baysox allowed more than nine runs in a game for the first time in 2022 on Thursday, as they dropped the third game of their six-game series with the Reading Fightin Phils 11-6. While Bowie did take an early 2-0 lead, Reading exploded for five runs in the third inning against Antonio Velez, and a grand slam by Jhailyn Ortiz in the sixth inning pushed the game out of reach.
After Reading had scored in the first inning on Tuesday and Wednesday, Bowie took their turn at the early attack. Gunnar Handerson and Shayne Fontana attempted a double steal after a pair of walks, but Fontana was caught in a rundown at second base. When Fontana escaped the pickle and retreated to first base, Gunnar Henderson sped home to give Bowie the early lead. After a short second inning by left-hander Erik Miller, Reading shifted to Ethan Evanko for the next three innings. Bowie tagged Evanko (W, 1-0) for another run in the third inning when they loaded the bases with only one out, but a sacrifice fly by Fontana was the only run they could get from it.
While Antonio Velez did open with two scoreless innings, the left-hander unraveled in the third inning. Velez (L, 0-3) allowed a stretch of five-consecutive batters to reach base safely, and five total runs to cross the plate before escaping the inning, his last frame of the day. Reading tagged reliever Adam Stauffer out of the bullpen for another two runs when Josh Ockimey lifted a two-run home run to right-center field, pushing the score ahead to 7-2.
In the sixth inning, Reading pounced again, this time against lefty Easton Lucas. After two walks and a single loaded the bases, right fielder Jhailyn Ortiz smashed a grand slam to left field, giving Reading a nine-run lead. Bowie got a quiet outing from Wes Robertson in his Baysox debut, as the right-hander spun a scoreless eighth inning with two strikeouts.
Bowie cut into the Reading lead in the seventh inning, although it did come too late. Against Braden Zabnisky, Hudson Haskin led off with a solo home run to center field, his fifth long ball of the season. While Haskin did tie Jordan Westburg for the team’s lead in long balls, Westburg broke the tie only a few minutes later with a three-run home run to left field, his sixth. Following the four-run frame, Bowie was held quiet for the final two frames by Bubby Rossman and Brian Marconi.
The loss pushes Bowie back down to two games under the .500 mark, as they sit at 13-15. Bowie and Reading will continue their six-game series on Friday at FirstEnergy Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:45 p.m.