Minor Monday: Bowie falls short of league championship, but had a strong season - BaltimoreBaseball.com


Minor Monday: Bowie falls short of league championship, but had a strong season

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BOWIE — The Bowie Baysox fell short of their goal of winning the Double-A Northeast League Championship Series against Akron. The RubberDucks won the best-of-five series, 3-0, but that doesn’t detract from the season Bowie had this year.

The Baysox finished 73-47 in the regular season, and manager Buck Britton did a solid job keeping several key players moving forward.

Britton’s season was recognized by the Orioles when he was awarded the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award.

After not qualifying for the finals in their first 22 seasons (1993-2014), the Baysox reached the championship series for a second consecutive year (2019 and 2021) and a third time in their last six years.

“The talent is there,” Britton said. “We’re very dynamic. We can run. That’s one of the things we take pride in, how we run the bases. Being aggressive, going first to third. Anticipating dirt-ball reads and trying to pick up 90 feet when we can.

“We walk so much. I’m so proud of these guys for buying in. Swing decisions are huge here. I think we had 500 walks and four teams had that and were over 400 in our league. That is eight teams that had less than 400 walks and we had 500. That is a big deal for us.”

A number of the team’s key prospects played for Bowie this season.

Some were around for the league championship, such as Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Year Grayson Rodriguez, infielders Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg. Others, such as organizational Co-Players of the Year, catcher Adley Rustchman and outfielder Kyle Stowers, and pitchers Mike Baumann and Kyle Bradish, were promoted to Triple-A Norfolk. Baumann even appeared in four games with the Orioles.

Bowie just fell short in the title series against Akron.


In Game 1, Westburg provided the only Baysox hit with a solo homer in a 5-1 loss. Akron pitcher Peyton Battenfield was dominant, finishing with 10 strikeouts and no walks in seven innings.

In Game 2, the Baysox were relying on Rodriguez to even the series but he stumbled out of the gate in an 8-5 loss. For just the second time in 23 starts, Rodriguez was charged with five or more runs with one walk and four strikeouts.

“Sometimes these are good moments for those types of guys,” Britton said. “You can feel Herculean, is that a word? You feel like you’re just better than everybody and sometimes when a team comes out and punches you in the mouth a little bit and brings you back down to earth … This is a special talent. One night is not going to dictate anything. Look at the course of what he’s done all year and it’s very special. Special arm coming to Baltimore.”

Rodriguez will get a chance to compete for a job with the Orioles in next year’s spring training, according to executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias.

“This year has been a really good year for me and my arm,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve not had any problems at all. Staying healthy is a really big deal. I really learned how to pitch.”

In the deciding third game, the Akron rallied from five runs down in the eighth inning to beat Bowie, 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth to win the Double-A Northeast League title.

Baysox starter Drew Rom threw five scoreless innings, but the bullpen could not hold the lead.

Britton has done a solid job preaching the team concept and the Baysox were a tight-knit group of players throughout the 2021 season. They just pressed at the end.

“We emphasize we don’t need a hero,” Britton said. “Pass the torch. But when you are struggling as an offense, somebody wants to be the guy to get it going, and that leads to chases. We’ve done a poor job of staying in the strike zone. Something we had done really well all season.”



  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 27, 2021 at 8:36 am

    Coming up short with all that talent?

    TANK JOB!!

    Seriously though, thanks for the coverage this season Mr. Karpovich. Good stuff overall.

    • ToddKarpovich

      September 27, 2021 at 10:16 am

      Thanks, Boog!

  2. HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

    September 27, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Bowie led AA NE in walks and in strikeouts at the plate, kind of a mixed bag at the plate IMO. Congrats to Bowie and Britton for a successful season though. And thanks for the minor monday coverage, much appreciated.

    • dlgruber1

      September 27, 2021 at 9:06 pm

      Hmmm, I believe I have an answer for that “mixed bag at the plate.”
      I heard an interview about a month or so ago from someone in the organization, I’m sorry I can’t remember who it was, but he was saying they’re concentrating so much on plate discipline in the minors that they’d rather see a guy take a called strike 3 on a bad pitch than swing at it. He was saying in so many words that the umpiring at that level wasn’t the greatest and it was something they were ok with. That’s my guess anyway for leading the league in both categories. I will add that in the game I went to at Harrisburg that in fact it was that exact situation. Both teams took called 3rd strikes on pitches that looked off the plate and I was seated directly behind home plate in the 3rd row. GR pitched 3 innings and had 5 Ks and more than one looked like he got an assist by the HP umpire.

  3. CalsPals

    September 27, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Congrats on another terrific season, Buck should be with the varsity…go O’s…

  4. Buzz1979

    September 27, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Yea, and send Hyde to Bowie, he can wear his hoodies there!

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 27, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    So …. off subject with this, but here is some food for thought …

    The O’s have the opportunity to do some serious damage to the freakin’ BoSox playoff aspirations … but doing so would involve a large possibly of losing out on the 1st pick of next years draft ….

    How do y’all feel about them apples? To tank or not to tank … that is the question?

    The curse of Andino lives forever …

    • cedar

      September 27, 2021 at 3:04 pm

      And the following series with the Blue Jays would do the same. At this point I would be just as happy with the #2 pick if they managed to knock either club out of playoff contention.

    • willmiranda

      September 27, 2021 at 3:17 pm

      Yesterday, by beating the O’s, the Rangers took themselves out of the Pick One Sweepstakes. They obviously have no plan. Very careless of them.

    • Phil770

      September 27, 2021 at 8:27 pm

      GO for it!

    • dlgruber1

      September 27, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      BRR, here’s what I have to say about that. My two favorite games I’ve seen in my entire 50 plus years of being a dedicated loyal O’s fan are the Delmon Young bases clearing double in bottom 8 to beat the Tigers in 2016 and the 2011 final game of the season when they had 2 outs, no one on, and scored 2 runs on a Davis double, followed by a Reimold double and then the Andino walkoff single. I’ll NEVER forget the absolutely stunned looks on the faces of all those Red Sox fans who were SO DAMN SURE they were gonna clinch a playoff spot and the O’s sent them packing. What do you think I want the O’s to do this week?

    • AkronOhioOriole1

      September 27, 2021 at 9:39 pm

      I’m all in for being competitive but losing and getting the top pick. Then when we are good, we beat the heck out of anyone and everyone as payback for all this rebuilding!!

    • dlgruber1

      September 27, 2021 at 9:49 pm

      I have an addendum to my previous post. It’s not just the Red Sox I’d like to see the O’s beat, it’s just that they happen to be their final home games. Oh no, I’d be just as happy, maybe even more so, to see the O’s go to Toronto and send them home for a long cold winter. I don’t wanna say I’m the type of person to hold a grudge but I’ve had no love loss for the Jays that goes back to when Cito Gaston didn’t use Mussina in the 1993 All Star game at OPACY, still to this day one of the most classless things I’ve ever seen a MLB manager do, or NOT do I should say.

    • Baltimore Castaway

      September 28, 2021 at 8:21 am


      Believe it or not, i am sure that Mike Elias is not concerned with picking at one or two in next April’s Amateur Draft. When looking at the Mock Drafts and Top Prospect Lists for next year, there are very many Top Players that are going to be available.

      Actually, picking at the very top of next year’s Board is something of a disadvantage to Elias. There are going to be players available in the Top 10 that are as good as Players the Top 5 of this year’s draft.

  6. Bumble bee

    September 27, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Let’s get swept. Brake out the broom, sweep the crap away for next years team

  7. Buzz1979

    September 27, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Can’t wait to sweep the crap out of the clubhouse after the season!

    • CalsPals

      September 28, 2021 at 7:37 am

      Need more than a broom…;)…go O’s…

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