BOWIE, Md. - Single runs in the middle innings and clutch pitching sent the Bowie Baysox to a 3-2 win over the Akron RubberDucks in front of 2,067 at Prince George's Stadium Friday night.
Following a 30-minute pregame delay, the RubberDucks (4-7) took a 1-0 lead for the second straight game on a 2-out RBI single by Ernie Clement in the third inning. That lead lasted just an inning, when Jesse Valentin tied the game with a two-out RBI double down the left field line. The owner of a 12-game hitting streak, Valentin drove in Carlos Perez, who also doubled down the left field line to start the fourth inning rally.
Akron re-took the lead on a RBI infield single by Clement in the top half of the fifth inning, but the Baysox (8-2) quickly responded. Ryan McKenna lined a RBI triple to the right-center field gap, easily scoring Chris Clare on the second two-out run-scoring hit in as many innings.
Rylan Bannon ensured the hosts scored in three consecutive innings by launching a go-ahead line drive over the left field wall. The solo home run for the game's designated hitter was the fifth of the season and first for Bannon since May 2 when he had a four-hit game at Erie.
Defensively, Bruce Zimmermann bounced back from a defeat in Harrisburg to help to earn his first home win since May 10. The lefty allowed two earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts over six innings, qualifying for his eighth quality start in 14 appearances this season.
Zach Muckenhirn and Cristian Alvarado shut the door over the final three innings, with Alvarado earning his second career save (and first since the 2014 season with the Gulf Coast League Orioles.
The Baysox send RHP Marcos Molina (4-6, 3.81) to the mound to face Akron and RHP Eli Morgan (5-0, 2.31). Saturday night is another fireworks show after the game, but the night will be first be a chance to celebrate everything Australia. Animals from Roos2U will be in attendance, as will the Baltimore Dockers Aussie Rules Football Club and the Australian Embassy.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.