Bundy hurls Baysox to win in EL opener

Three Bowie homers back No. 2 Orioles prospect in 4-2 victory

By Zack Cox / Special to MLB.com | September 5, 2012 8:30 PM ET

With the number of levels Dylan Bundy has pitched at this year, it's easy to forget that he is still in his first professional season.

The Orioles' No. 2 prospect pitched like a seasoned veteran in his postseason debut Wednesday night, allowing a run on six hits over six innings in Bowie's 4-2 win over Akron in Game 1 of the Eastern League semifinals.

Bundy, making his fourth start for the Baysox after stints in Class A Delmarva and Class A Advanced Frederick, struck out seven batters in the contest while walking just one.

"It was one of my better outings at Double-A," the right-hander said. "Being a playoff game, it was a great atmosphere to play in, and I was happy to get the win."

The No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 Draft worked his way out of a pair of tight situations in the game as wild pitches put men on third in the first and sixth innings. Bundy did not allow either to score, however, striking out the final two batters in the first and inducing a groundout from Matt Lawson to end the sixth.

A solo homer by Lawson in the second was the only run the Aeros managed off MLB.com's No. 7 prospect.

Bundy has been dominant in his first year in the Minors, finishing the regular season with an overall 9-3 record with a 2.08 ERA over three levels. He had never faced Akron previously in his brief Double-A career, and said his strategy was largely based on scouting reports given to him by his coaching staff and catcher Brian Ward.

"It was really just [about] pitching to my strengths, not knowing the team, not knowing how to face some of the hitters," he said. "My pitching coach [Kennie Steenstra] and my catcher knew about them a little bit, so they gave me some feedback on what pitches they like to hit and where not to throw them. ... The catcher called a good game for me."

All four Baysox runs in the game came via home run. First baseman Rhyne Hughes gave Bowie its first lead with a two-run shot in the fourth and Ronnie Welty and Ty Kelly followed with leadoff homers in the fifth and sixth respectively.

Bowie took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 series and will host the Aeros again Thursday night before traveling to Akron for the remainder of the series.

"It's huge getting Game 1," Bundy said. "It's the most important game. We really need to get another one tomorrow, then we go on the road for three. Being up, 2-0, would be really nice to go on the road with."

In other Eastern League action:

Reading 4, Trenton 2

Homers by Tommy Joseph and Leandro Castro broke a tie game in the seventh inning and powered the Phillies to a 4-2 win over the Thunder in Game 1 of other semifinal.

Joseph -- the Phillies' No. 4 prospect -- sent the first pitch he saw in the seventh over the right-field wall and the team's No. 17 prospect followed suit in the next at-bat.

Left fielder Ramon Flores put the Thunder on the board first with a two-run shot off Reading starter Austin Hyatt in the fourth. Reading responded in the bottom of the fifth as Jake Fox led off the frame with a solo homer and Tug Hulett came home on a one-out groundout by Jiwan James.

Reading's six hits and four runs were charged to Trenton starter Brett Marshall (0-1). Reliever Tyler Knigge picked up the victory with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Gameday box score

Zack Cox is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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