BOWIE —-The Bowie Baysox ran out of comebacks Friday night.
Trenton’s pitching kept the Baysox bats and the home crowd quiet as the Thunder won the Eastern League Championship Series with a 5-2 victory.
The Baysox overcame a 7-23 start to finish fourth in the Western Division in the first half with a 30-38. Bowie then went 46-26 in the second half and defeated Harrisburg 3-1 in the Western Division playoffs.
Facing a number of Yankees on rehab assignment, Bowie split the first two games of the championship series but lost Games 3 and 4 to Trenton at Prince George’s Stadium.
“I’ll think about the run that we made,” manager Buck Britton said. “It took us 46 wins to win a half in this league, and that’s a lot of wins. I’ll think of the guys, the improvements we made. I think that’s the biggest thing to take away when you do something like this.”
Trenton right-handed starter Rony Garcia threw five no-hit innings, struck out six and allowed only one baserunner. Bowie managed only four hits — two in the sixth inning and two in the ninth.
“He was pounding the strike zone,” Britton said. “And when you show that you’re going to throw strikes, you get guys to chase early in counts. Our guys were a little aggressive, but he did a nice job.”
Yankees reliever Dellin Betances replaced Garcia in the sixth. Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino, who also were on rehab assignments, started Games 1 and 2.
Centerfielder Cedric Mullins hit a home run off Betances, and second baseman Anderson Feliz followed with a single. Feliz hit a solo home run, and catcher Carlos Perez hit a single in the ninth off right-hander Daniel Alvarez.
The Thunder scored three runs in the second inning, including a solo home run by catcher Kellin Deglan, who was named Eastern League playoff MVP.
Bowie starter Tyler Herb, whom the Orioles acquired from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Mike Yastrzemski late in spring training, struggled. The right-hander threw 45 pitches in two innings and gave up three runs on five hits.
Trenton first baseman Chris Gittens hit a solo home run in the third, and the Thunder scored their final run in the seventh on an RBI single by designated hitter Isiah Gilliam.
Britton had praise for Mullins, who started the season as the Orioles’ centerfielder before being sent to Triple-A Norfolk and eventually to Bowie to try to get his offense to match his defense.
“You get a guy like Mullins – his silent leadership – this guy’s a good player,” Britton said. “He’s had some struggles, but what he’s done down here for us in a leadership role and how he’s going about his business has been nice for the other guys to see, as far as what it takes to play at the highest level, so he’s been a good leader here.”
Mullins expressed optimism for the future.
“[I want to] continue to stay through the ball in my swing and not necessarily pull off,” Mullins said. “My swing has been in and out [of] the zone pretty quick, and [I’m] starting to get that groove back and starting to drive the ball.”
Britton’s message to his team after the loss was one of reflection and pride.
“We didn’t win it all, but it was special,” Britton said. “You remember the people that you were surrounded with.”