Akron, OH - The fans at Canal Park were ready to celebrate a 17th playoff berth in 30 seasons on Monday night. Baysox starter Dillon Tate had other ideas.
Tate delivered a steady effort, allowing just two runs in 6 and 1/3rd innings picking up his second win with the Baysox in six starts. It was enough for Bowie as the Baysox won the series opener 5-3.
Scoreless in the third inning the Baysox went to work. Rylan Bannon doubled down the left field line and then scored on a triple to the right-center gap from Erick Salcedo. Next up was Austin Hays who crushed a no doubt about it home run to left field for a 3-0 Baysox lead. The home run was the second in as many days for Hays and his 10th on the season.
Akron trailing 3-1 in the 7th inning nearly battled back. With Ka'ai Tom at first and one down, Mark Mathias doubled to right-center. A relay nearly got Tom at the plate but his slide dislodged the ball from Baysox catcher Brett Cumberland's mitt and it was 3-2. Tate exited giving way to Zach Pop. With the tying run at second base and one retired, Pop got a swinging strikeout and a groundout to shortstop to salvage the lead.
The Baysox then got two runs in the eighth inning. Ryan Mountcastle singled and then read the ball off the bat of Aderlin Rodriguez well as a soft fly dipped down near the line in right. Mountcastle went first to third on the play. He scored on a wild pitch, and Rodriguez came home on an RBI-double from Ryan McKenna to lead 5-2.
Pop worked the eighth inning as well allowing a run and gave way to Branden Kline who worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to get his 15th save of the year.
The Baysox will try to hold off the Akron playoff celebration for another night Tuesday evening with Bruce Zimmermann on the hill. Coverage begins 20-minutes prior on baysox.com, wnav.com and via the Tune-In Radio App by searching Baysox.
The next Baysox home game will be Wednesday, August 31st as Altoona comes to town for the season closing Labor Day weekend series. Get tickets at 301-464-4865 or purchase online at baysox.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.