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Orioles Minor League Playoff Rundown: 9-12

The Baysox advance to the Eastern League Finals courtesy of pitching, defense, and three 1-run homers.

Mike Yaz's 1st inning dinger proved the difference maker for Bowie
Mike Yaz's 1st inning dinger proved the difference maker for Bowie
Bert Hindman / Bowie Baysox

Norfolk 2 Columbus (Cleveland) 6

Elih Villanueva was touched up for 3 runs in the 1st and another 3 runs in the 3rd, a deficit the Tides offense was unable to muster a response to. The 1st inning damage happened in quick succession as the 2-3-4 hitters hit a double, an RBI single, and a 2-run HR. Villanueva would fail to make it through the 3rd; leaving with 2 more runs already in, a runner on 3rd, and just 1 out. In total he coughed up 7 hits and was charged with all 6 ERs on the night.

The Tides offense had plenty of chances to make a game of it, accruing 11 hits and drawing 5 walks. But they stranded 13 runners and went 3 for 10 with runners in scoring position. The dagger to the Tides' hopes of mounting a comeback came in a particularly Orioles-esque 5th inning, which saw 3 consecutive singles load the bases with  none out. A foul pop out by Rey Navarro was then followed by a Christian Walker 5 to 4 to 3 GIDP to snuff out any rational hopes for making a game of it.

The two runs the Tides did manage to plate came in the 8th via a Sharlon Schoop 2-RBI double. Henry Urrutia went 2 for 4 with a walk as the lead off hitter. Junior Lake added a 2 for 5 effort with a double. David Lough went 1 for 3 and walked twice.

The Tides now face elimination. They will send Chris Jones to the mound this evening in hopes of staving off a start to their off-season.

Altoona (Pirates) 0 Bowie 3

Suck it, Double-A Andrew G's. The Baysox rode a strong performance from David Hess to the series win and advanced to the Eastern League Finals. Hess yielded just 1 hit and 2 walks over 7 shutout innings and 88 pitches. He only K'd 3, and sported a 5:9 Groundout to Flyout ratio. But the defense was solid behind him and turned contact into outs.

The offense struck early for him, with Mike Yastzemski and Quincy Latimore each belting solo Home Runs in the 1st. Garabez Rosa added a solo shot of his own in the 2nd, and the Baysox cruised to the win from there.

This is the first time the Baysox have advanced to the finals of their league. They will open up the Championship series against the Reading Phillies in Reading on Tuesday.