BOWIE, Md. - Behind a complete-game, one-hit shutout by Mitch Keller, the Altoona Curve beat the Bowie Baysox, 2-0, to take a 1-0 lead in the Eastern League Western Division Series on Thursday night at Prince George's Stadium.
The Curve (1-0) took the series opener on the road from the Baysox (0-1) in the best-of-five set.
Keller (Win, 1-0) faced the minimum 27 batters and tossed the second complete-game shutout in Altoona Curve postseason history, allowing one hit over his nine innings with two walks and four strikeouts. He threw just 90 pitches in the game.
The Curve broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning. Cole Tucker doubled and Jordan George brought him in to score with a two-out single against Baysox starting pitcher David Hess (Loss, 0-1).
In the top of the seventh, Mitchell Tolman added a run with an RBI single to left, scoring Casey Hughston.
Bowie never saw a runner reach second base in the game. Their first baserunner came in the second inning with a lead-off walk by Garabez Rosa, but Keller worked an inning-ending double play from Austin Wynns.
Cedric Mullins reached with a lead-off single in the fourth, Bowie's only hit of the game, but was doubled off trying to retreat back to first base after a line-out to left fielder Elvis Escobar hit by Ryan Mountcastle.
A fielding error by Tolman allowed Adrian Marin to reach in the sixth, but Jin-De Jhang threw him out trying to steal second. Steve Wilkerson walked to lead off the ninth, but Marin bounced into a double play to clear the bases again. Erick Salcedo followed with a line-out to left to end the game.
The nine innings pitched was a career high for Keller, who worked through eight scoreless innings for Bradenton against Tampa in last year's Florida State League Championship Series.
Hess worked 6.1 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Paul Fry pitched 1.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts and Scott McGough worked a scoreless top of the ninth.
The Curve and Baysox play Game Two of the Western Division Series on Friday night at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie. Right-hander Alex McRae (10-5, 3.61) will be on the mound for the Curve, opposed by Bowie lefty Tanner Scott (0-2, 2.22). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The series moves to Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona on Saturday night with first pitch for Game Three set for 6 p.m. Due to a rainout in Bowie on Thursday that moved the series back one day, fans will be able to use "Game A" tickets on Saturday, their "Game B" tickets will be good for Game Four (if necessary) on Sunday (Time TBD) and "Game C" tickets will be good for Game Five (if necessary) on Monday (Time TBD).
For tickets or more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the Peoples Natural Gas Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.