ERIE, PA – A routine, albeit deflating, occurrence for the Bowie Baysox on the road this season returned on Sunday afternoon, as Bowie suffered their 12th walk-off loss of the year. Coming back to tie the game twice, Bowie fell to the Erie SeaWolves 5-4 on a sacrifice fly by Quincy Nieporte in the ninth inning.
The early game seemed to have Bowie instantly up against the wall, as starter Chance Kirby retired the first 12 batters of the game, and he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Brenan Hanifee was able to put together a scoreless start for the Baysox but only lasted four innings as he constantly had to manage baserunners. Easton Lucas took the fifth inning, but allowed four hits, and eventually three runs with two outs before needing to be lifted for Griffin McLarty, who worked scoreless through the sixth.
When Kirby tried to extend into the seventh inning, holding a 3-0 lead, Bowie found a pair of base hits to threaten for the first time on the night. Cesar Prieto delivered a big punch to the starter, clubbing a game-tying three-run home run.
Erie retook the lead in the seventh inning after collecting two quick hits against Tyler Burch, and a near-double play ball from Parker Meadows got to first base just late as Erie plated their fourth run.
Bowie’s offense was instantly silenced by reliever Brendan White, despite White hitting two Bowie batters. After Andrew Daschbach was hit near the helmet, Bowie raised concern about the potential safety of their batters, and the game’s umpires caused a delay by entering into an argument with Bowie.
After the dust had settled and Nolan Hoffman worked a scoreless eighth inning for Bowie, Coby Mayo put a charge back into the dugout when he parked a game-tying solo home run on top of the arena in left field. It was only the second home run allowed by reliever Elvis Alvarado (W, 5-1) this season.
Things were handed to Hector Perez in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Perez (L, 0-2) quickly allowed two walks and a single, while only striking out one batter, to load the bases. Quincy Nieporte then lifted a fly ball to right field, and the throwback home to try for the tagging runner was just too far up the third base line, allowing Bryant Packard to score.
The 12th walk-off loss of the season for Bowie is also their 28th one-run loss. Both marks are the highest in all of Minor League Baseball. As Bowie falls to 63-63 on the season and 36-21 in the second half, they fall back into a tie for first place with Erie.
As the initial tiebreaker for a postseason berth is a head-to-head record, the two teams would need to use a second tiebreak, if needed, to decide the division winner. Should Bowie and Erie tie at the end of the half, Erie would win the second tiebreaker by virtue of a better overall record within the final 20 games of the year.
Bowie will try to turn their luck around on Tuesday, as they return home to welcome the Richmond Flying Squirrels to Prince George’s Stadium. The first pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.