HARRISBURG, PA — The Bowie Baysox kicked off their final series of the 2023 regular season with a narrow 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Harrisburg Senators at FNB Field on Tuesday night. The loss further diminishes Bowie’s already slim playoff hopes and leaves them needing a flawless run in their remaining five games to secure a winning record this season.
Bowie got off to a promising start with two runs in the opening inning, including a crucial RBI from key player John Rhodes. Despite their early momentum, the Baysox couldn’t maintain their lead as starting pitcher Peter Van Loon gave up eight hits over three innings, resulting in a four-run output for Harrisburg.
The Senators immediately counterpunched in the bottom of the first inning with two runs, courtesy of an RBI double from Dylan Crews and a single by Brady House. TT Bowens tied the game for Bowie in the second inning with his seventh home run of the season, only for Harrisburg to add another two runs in the same frame. Alex Pham entered in relief for Bowie, allowing just a single run in five innings of work, a J.T. Arruda single in the sixth inning.
For Harrisburg, starting pitcher Dustin Saenz had a solid performance, yielding just two early runs in his six innings on the mound.
John Rhodes re-entered the spotlight in the eighth inning with a two-run homer, his 17th of the season, forcing the Senators to bring in reliever Tyler Schoff. The move proved fruitful for Harrisburg as Schoff struck out all four batters he faced to close out the game.
The latest loss puts Bowie’s record at 65-68, meaning the team would need to win each of their final five games to finish the season with a winning record. Additionally, following another win by Richmond, Bowie’s postseason elimination number has been reduced to just two. Bowie will attempt to course-correct in the second game of the series scheduled for Wednesday, with the first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.
The Baysox find themselves at a critical juncture, not just for this season but potentially for the franchise’s near-term future. A winning season could be a pivotal building block, while failure to secure that could raise questions about the team’s direction. The stakes couldn’t be higher as they prepare for the next game in their series against Harrisburg.