BOWIE – After winning the Eastern League Championship in 2015 for the first time in franchise history, the Bowie Baysox regressed last year and finished with a 56-86 record.
This season, however, Bowie has gotten off to a much better start. The Baysox were sitting at 19-18 as of last Sunday, just three-and-a-half games behind first-place Altoona in the Western Division.
Bowie’s offense has been strong all year long. The Baysox rank first in the league with 369 hits, 177 runs and a .292 batting average. Garabez Rosa and Austin Wynns, two of the top three hitters in the league, have helped contribute to that success.
Through Sunday’s games, Rosa ranked second in the league with a .348 average. Rosa, who is the franchise’s all-time hits leader, also has five homers and 24 RBI.
Rosa is one point ahead of teammate Wynns, who is hitting .347 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 24 games.
The team has also been getting help from shortstop Erick Salcedo (.306 average) and third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez (24 RBI are tied for fourth in the league).
The team’s pitching, on the other hand, has not helped as much.
Bowie ranks 10th in the league with an earned run average (ERA) of 4.14 and has had trouble keeping the ball in the year. Through Sunday’s action, the Baysox have given up 30 home runs in 315 innings – approximately one per game.
David Hess, who seems to be rebounding from a poor 2016 season (5-13), has been a lone bright spot for the pitching staff and has already matched his win total from last year. He now is 5-1 (tied for the league lead in victories) and has a 3.47 ERA.
Hess has thrown well in six of his seven starts and has been an ace the team has sorely needed. Control and command have been his keys to success, as Hess has fanned 31 batters while walking just 12 in 2017.