Chuck Hixson

The Reading Fightin Phils lost to the Bowie Baysox 7-2 in the Eastern League Championship finale.

Again, Bowie used a big offense and strong pitching to down Reading. This time it was a 7-2 Bowie win that gave the Baysox the Eastern League Championship over the Fightins.

Last Tuesday, the Reading Fightins scored three runs in six innings against Bowie starter Joe Gunkel. Reading won that game to take a 1-0 lead in the series and everything seemed to be going as planned. Gunkel returned to pitch Game Five against Reading and the Fightins got to him for one run in four innings of work, but it turned out to be good enough to help Bowie to a 7-2 win over Reading in the clinching game for the Eastern League Championship.

Cameron Perkins got to Gunkel in the top of the fourth with a home run to left field to lead off the inning. The blast gave Reading a temporary 1-0 lead over Bowie, but it didn't last long. In the bottom of the inning, Garabez Rosa hit a two-run home run off Reading starter Reinier Roibal to put the Baysox on top 2-1. 

Roibal gave up a leadoff single in the fifth and one out later, gave up another single to put runners on first and third. Edubray Ramos entered the game and got the last two outs of the inning without allowing a run to score. The bad news was that in the next inning, Rosa did it again, launching his second home run of the game, this time off Ramos, to put Bowie up 3-1.

Manager Dusty Wathan had made the decision to have Rene Garcia catch Game Five, with number-one catcher Andrew Knapp serving as the designated hitter. The move paid off in the top of the seventh when Garcia hit his first home run of the postseason to make it a 3-2 game.

In the bottom of the seventh, Bowie put runners on first and second with one out against reliever Jimmy Cordero. Quincy Latimore then delivered a double that scored both runners as the Baysox bought themselves some insurance with a 5-2 lead. It wasn't enough though as they added two more runs in the eighth. Cordero walked the leadoff man, but came back to strike out Glynn Davis before being yanked in favor of Hoby Milner. Corban Joseph doubled to put runners on second and third and Mike Yastrzemski lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2. Right-hander Ryan O'Sullivan replaced the left-handed Milner and got a groundball, but J.P. Crawford booted the ball, allowing Joseph to score the final run of the game and make it 7-2 Bowie.

Fellow starter Nick Additon replaced Gunkel and gave Bowie four innings of relief work to get the win, his third of the postseason. Andrew Triggs threw a perfect top of the ninth to lock down the Eastern League Championship, the first in franchise history for Bowie. Roibal was the losing pitcher for Reading.

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