Baysox meets Altoona in playoffs, first two games at home

D.J. Stewart DKRICHMOND, Va. – The Bowie Baysox had a chance to finish first in the Eastern League’s Western Division, but came up short.

Bowie needed to win its season finale at Richmond on Monday, as well as having Altoona lose its last game. That scenario would have landed the two teams in a tie for first place, with a tiebreaker going to the Baysox.

But nothing worked out Bowie’s way.

Richmond scored a tie-breaking run in the eighth for a 4-3 victory over Bowie. The Baysox loss clinched the division title for Altoona and gave the Curve home-field advantage in the playoffs that start Wednesday night.

The Curve locked up a 7-4 victory over Harrisburg less than an hour later, and would have made a Bowie win meaningless. Altoona finished with a 74-66 record – two games ahead of the Baysox.

The Baysox finished the regular season with a 72-68 record and will start the best-of-five Western Division Championship Series versus Altoona on Sept. 6 at Prince George’s Stadium.

David Hess (11-9, 3.85 ERA) will start for Bowie, while Altoona’s starter was not known as of Monday. The first two games will be at Bowie before the rest of the series – Game 3, 4 and 5, if necessary, shifts to Altoona.

This is the second time in three years Bowie has made post-season play. The Baysox got into the playoffs in 2015 and won the Eastern League championship, beating Reading in the title round.

The winner of the Bowie-Altoona series will meet the winner of the Eastern Division title series between Trenton and Binghamton next week.

Bowie never led in the season finale. The Flying Squirrels took a 2-0 lead before the Baysox rallied to tie the game. Richmond then went ahead 3-2 before the Baysox tied it in the top of the eighth on an Austin Hays sacrifice fly.

Hunter Cole homered for Richmond in the bottom of the eighth to give the Flying Squirrels a 4-3 lead. Bowie threatened in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with two outs, but couldn’t push the tying run across.

Stewart wins Orioles award

D.J. Stewart was picked as the Baltimore Orioles Organizational Player of the Month for August, the club’s player development department announced in a statement earlier this week.

Stewart batted .340 in August with six homers and 20 RBI in 27 games. He finished with nine doubles and 17 runs scored.

Stewart also came up with the first multi-homer game of his professional career. It happened on Aug. 22 against Reading. He also posted a career-best six RBIs in a 13-7 rout of Portland on Aug. 5.

The Orioles picked him in the first round of the 2015 draft – 25th overall. Stewart became the fourth Bowie player to win the monthly honor in 2017. Pitchers John Means and Tanner Scott earned the honor in April and May, respectively, before Austin Hays got it in June.

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