Reading (Phillies) 3, Bowie Baysox 1 (Reading leads series, 1-0)
It comes down to the Baysox and the Fightin Phils for the Eastern League championship, a best of five series. Reading grabbed hold of the first game in their own home stadium on Tuesday night, riding a strong start by one of the top Phillies pitching prospects, Zach Eflin, to a 3-1 victory over the Baysox. Eflin, traded from the Padres to the Dodgers to the Phillies in the offseason, shut out the Baysox over his six innings of work, allowing only five hits without walking any batters. He also struck out five.
That's a tough line to overcome, and unfortunately for the Baysox, their own starter was not equal to this task in the game. The Gunk, Joe Gunkel, did not have a bad game, but with a low pitch count heading into the seventh inning, he nonetheless got jumped on immediately for a home run and a double - with the inherited runner coming around to score. So Gunkel only allowed one run over six innings... but there were also the two batters he faced in the seventh who both scored.
The final line on Gunkel was three runs on nine hits and a walk in six innings plus two batters. He struck out four Fightin Phils, but also gave up two solo home runs.
Baysox hitters only had six hits in the game, which is certainly a tough way to win one. They were nonetheless able to bring the tying run to the plate with only one out in the top of the ninth inning. Quincy Latimore hit a one out double and Chance Sisco walked to get a rally going. They'd end up with the bases loaded and two outs. That was as close as they got. Maybe it will go better tomorrow.
Bowie: at Reading, 7:05. Starter: Nick Additon.