READING, PA – The Bowie Baysox were handed their first walk-off loss of the season on Friday night, falling on the wrong end of an 11-10 game in extra innings to the Reading Fightin Phils. Bowie led twice in the game and was up by as many as four runs, but Reading used three home runs as part of a constant fight back. Bowie outhit Reading 16 to 15; Bowie has lost the third time this season while outhitting their opponent. The 31 combined hits are the most in any game in the Eastern League so far this season.
Bowie scored in the first inning just as they did in their previous loss on Thursday. Gunnar Henderson drew a walk, his league-leading 30th of the season, to extend his on-base streak to league-leading 29-consecutive games. Following another walk, Shayne Fontana singled to score Henderson.
Reading leaped into the lead in the home half of the second inning when Jack Conely lifted a two-run home run to left field, but that lead would not last long. Bowie tied the game at two in the fourth inning when Jordan Westburg delivered an RBI single, and Dylan Harris gave Bowie the 3-2 lead with an RBI single of his own later in the inning.
Bowie extended the lead in the fifth inning on a pair of RBI doubles from Joey Ortiz and J.D. Mundy, and once more in the sixth, Henderson recorded a sacrifice fly.
With Bowie ahead 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Reading got back to work. Jhailyn Ortiz launched the first pitch of the frame to left field for a home run, and Josh Ockimey followed just two batters later with a two-run shot. The three-run frame made it 6-5. Bowie punched the lead back to three runs in the seventh inning when Cody Roberts notched his second home run of the season, a two-run shot, to left field.
Reading pounced in the seventh inning by stringing together four-consecutive singles and scoring three runs to tie the game at eight.
The game extended into the tenth when each side came up empty in the last two innings. Zach Watson plated a run for Bowie with an RBI triple, but Reading responded with a swinging bunt by Conley in the bottom of the frame to re-tie the game. Bowie barely scraped back ahead in the 11th inning when Westburg delivered a two-out RBI double, making it a 10-9 game. After a leadoff single in the bottom of the frame, Bowie elected not to try for a double play on a groundout, allowing the winning run for Reading to move to second base. The gamble failed as Ortiz singled to center field, scoring both runners in scoring position and closing the game.
On the mound, Bowie got another three strong innings from Conner Loeprich. In the second inning, the right-hander was only hit for Conley’s two-run home run. Noah Denoyer had a good opening to his Double-A career, retiring six-consecutive batters out of the bullpen, but did allow the two home runs in the sixth inning. Ryan Conroy gave up the four singles to open the seventh, taking the blown save when Reading tied the game. Nolan Hoffman tossed two innings and allowed just one unearned run, the free runner in the tenth inning. Tyler Burch (L, 0-1) was charged with a blown save and the loss through the 11th inning, his only frame on the night.
The Fightins only got 3.2 innings out of Jack Perkins, as Bowie hit him for their first three runs. Bowie combined for five additional runs against Austin Ross and Julian Garcia but came up scoreless against Billy Sullivan and Ofriedy Gomez in the eighth and ninth. Gomez allowed the free runner to score in the tenth, and McKinley Moore (W, 1-2) allowed the other free runner to score in the 11th but earned the win for Reading.
Bowie falls to 13-16 on the season and is 4-9 over their last 13 games. Bowie will need to win on Saturday and Sunday to force a series split with Reading as the two sides prepare for a 6:45 p.m. first pitch on Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium.