BOWIE, Md. -- In the final game of the year, the Bowie Baysox recorded season highs in both runs and hits en route to a 17-6 win over the Altoona Curve in front of 1,538 at Prince George's Stadium Labor Day afternoon.
For the first time in the series, the Baysox (67-71) jumped out on top with some first-inning offense. After a pair of singles from Rylan Bannon and Ryan Mountcastle, Aderlin Rodriguez took the first pitch from Dario Agrazal deep into the left field woods for his 22nd home run of the season and a 3-0 lead. One pitch later, Anderson Feliz sent an opposite-field shot to left-center field. Home run No. 10 of the season for the center fielder increased the Bowie lead to 4-0.
The power surge continued in the third inning. After a Feliz double, Ademar Rifaela clubbed a 3-2 offering down the line in right field for his sixth home run of the season. Two pitches later, Martin Cervenka gave the hosts back-to-back homers for the second time in three innings with a solo shot down the left field line. His 15th long ball of the year increased the Bowie lead to 7-1 and firmly cemented a new career high for round-trippers in a season for the catcher.
Rodriguez kept the home run derby going in the fourth inning, destroying his second three-run home run of the game to left field. Bannon and Mountcastle again scored on the 23rd home run for the first baseman, who also eclipsed the 90-RBI mark in the process. The 92 RBI in 2018 helped Rodriguez finish third in the Eastern League in the category, while his four hits placed him fourth overall-five behind teammate Corban Joseph's 143 hits.
Altoona plated four runs in the fifth inning to halve the Bowie lead, but the hosts sent 11 batters to the plate and erupted for seven runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. A Rodriguez single and a Feliz walk set the table for Rifaela, who drilled his second home run of the day to right field after an eight-pitch battle with LHP Sean Keselica. Rifaela set new season-highs in hits (4) and RBI (5), while tying his career high in RBI.
Four batters later, after a Brett Cumberland single and a fielding error, Austin Hays added a three-run home run of his own to increase the margin to 16-6. For the right fielder, the homer was the second in as many games and his 12th long ball of the year. The three-run shot was the seventh home run of the game against Altoona pitching, setting a new watermark for most four-baggers allowed in one game in franchise history.
Rodriguez tacked on his 7th RBI of the game with a double to center field that missed being a third home of the game by mere feet. The seven RBIs shattered his previous season-high (5) and came within two RBI of tying his career high of nine, which he set in game one of a doubleheader on June 7, 2017.
Defensively, the Bowie bullpen held a potent Curve offense, which left the bases loadedin three of the first four innings. Matthew Grimes, Jay Flaa and Tanner Chleborad powered through the first five innings, while Zach Pop earned the win by tossing two scoreless innings and benefiting from a pair of double plays. Michael Kelly concluded the 2018 season on the mound, striking out Arden Pabst with the final out to seal two scoreless frames of his own.
The Baysox open the the 2019 season on the road, making the trip to FNB Field to take on the Harrisburg Senators for the first of four games on April 4. The same two teams square off in the Bowie home opener one week later, kicking off play in Prince George's Stadium at 6:35 p.m. on April 11.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.