Harrisburg (Nationals) 5, Bowie Baysox 4, 12 inn.
The Baysox fought back from an early deficit, and clawed their way to having a chance to take a commanding lead in their Eastern League semifinal matchup with the Harrisburg Senators.
All Bowie needed was one more hit. The Baysox couldn’t find it. Eventually, the Senators did.
Dante Bichette Jr. singled in Cole Freeman in the top of the 12th, lifting Harrisburg to a victory that evens its series with the Baysox, who won 5-3 on Wednesday, at one game apiece.
At first, Harrisburg had the ideal response to the Game 1 loss when it took a 4-0 lead after just two innings. Bowie, however, came back, and began the rally in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Ryan McKenna (2-for-4) doubled and Anderson Feliz singled, putting runners at the corners.
That brought up Carlos Perez, who smashed a 1-2 offering to left field for a home run to put Bowie back in the game at 4-3.
The Baysox made it all the way back in the eighth. Ryan Ripken led off the inning and hit the first pitch he saw from former All-Star closer Greg Holland over the wall in right field, making it 4-4.
From there, however, Harrisburg’s pitching stiffened, retiring 11 of the next 14 batters and allowing only one hit, McKenna’s second single, in the 11th.
With the game up for grabs, Harrisburg made a play for it in the top of the 12th. Freeman led off with a single, and after a bad bunt, stole second and went to third on a throwing error. With one out, Bichette singled to center, allowing Freeman to trot home with the go-ahead run.
Jacob Condra-Bogan, who came on to start the 11th, struck out the side in the bottom half to end the game. Top five prospect Yusniel Diaz went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts for Bowie.
After a solid season (4-2, 3.95), Tyler Herb turned in a rocky start for the Baysox. The 27-year-old went five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out five.
Harrisburg took the lead in the first when Luis Garcia and Bichette had RBI doubles off Herb and Nick Banks added a run-scoring single. In the second, an error on a ball hit by Bichette allowed David Masters to score and make it 4-0.
The Baysox will travel to Harrisburg for Game 3 tonight with a chance to move a game away from clinching on the line.
The complete box score from Thursday’s game can be found here.
Next scheduled games
Bowie: at Harrisburg, Friday, 7 p.m. Starter: Zac Lowther (13-7, 2.55)
Delmarva: vs. Hickory, Friday, 7:05 p.m. Starter: Gray Fenter (8-2, 1.81)