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Eastern League Championship Game 5: Bowie wins!

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A close and tense affair saw Bowie come away with their first league championship

ELCS MVP Garabez Rosa in action with the Baysox back in '13
ELCS MVP Garabez Rosa in action with the Baysox back in '13
Bert Hindman/Bowie Baysox

Reading (Phillies) 2 Bowie 7

Mike Yastzemski doubled twice, and Garabez Rosa homered twice to lead the Baysox to the first championship in their 29 year history. Rosa was named the series' MVP.

Joe Gunkel got the start and ran into trouble in the 3rd. A lead off single was followed by a slow ground out to 3B, which allowed the runner to advance to 2B with just 1 out. The next batter hit the ball back to Gunkel who, rather than taking the sure out at 1B, somehow managed to catch the runner on 2B off the bag. He threw to the shortstop and got the fielder's choice without a rundown. This proved most fortuitous as the next two batters reached to load the bases before a pop out brought the game's first threat to a close.

A lead off home run in the 4th by Reading left fielder Cam Perkins gave the Fightins' an early, if short lived, lead. Gunkel closed out the inning, though he did allow a 2 out double as well. And that would be it for Gunkel on the night. 4 IP, 5 Hits, 1 ER, 1 Walk, and 3 Ks. I don't know if this is the case, but it seems a solid theory, that Bowie Manager Gary Kendall wisely decided to pull Gunkel in spite of just 72 pitches so as not to allow any Reading batters a 3rd time through the order look at Gunkel. The Fightins' were generating solid contact, as 3 of their 5 hits off Gunkel went for extra bases. So Kendall seems to have decided to bring in Nick Additon in an attempt to throw off whatever rhythm Reading had.

And it worked. Additon retired the first 8 batters he faced before allowing a home run in the 8th. That would be the lone hit he would allow over his 4 excellent innings of work. His work gave the Baysox offense the time it needed to respond to the early Reading run, and claim a lead they would not relinquish.

It did not take long for Bowie to respond to Reading's run in the 4th. In the bottom half of the inning, Trey Mancini led off by drawing his first of two walks on the night. With one out, Garabez Rosa would then deposit his first of two home runs that landed in left-centerfield. 'Surfer' Rosa would then give the pitching staff all the run support it would need on this night with his second shot of the night in the 6th. After an 0 for 4 night in Game 1, Rosa laid waste to Reading pitching, going 8 for 17 with the 2 home runs and 7 driven in over Games 2 through 5.

Bowie would tack on 2 more runs apiece in the 7th and 8th innings. Mike Yaz and Trey Mancini would come in via a Quincy Latimore double in the 7th. While Mike Yaz would pad the lead in the 8th with a sac fly before a ball off Trey Mancini's bat turned into an error which allowed Corban Joseph to score, bringing the game's margin to it's final line.

You can watch the final out and celebration here. Congrats to the Baysox! It's a great accomplishment for those guys, and one that some of them will hopefully get to help create in Baltimore someday soon.

Oh, yeah...and there was this, evidently:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Biggest mistake of ELCS - When ahead 2-1 Reading asked to buy Bowie&#39;s champagne rather than get their own. They lost next 2 games.</p>&mdash; Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) <a href="">September 20, 2015</a></blockquote>

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