On a day when many of the baseball games throughout Prince George’s County were postponed due to wet field conditions, the Bowie High School team overcame an early 4-2 deficit to post a 9-4 victory over visiting Gwynn Park.
Bowie (1-0) scored its first two runs Friday without the benefit of a hit and led 2-1 until Gwynn Park responded with three runs in the top of the fourth, chasing Bulldogs’ starter Sam Garmoe. But Bowie reliever Sage Davis was superb, blanking the Yellow Jackets for 3 1/3 innings to get the win. The Bulldogs broke a 4-4 tie by scoring five times in the home half of the sixth.
“What I liked most about today is we scored in all but one inning,” said Bowie second-year coach Bryan Harris. “It’s like I tell the guys every game, ‘I’ll be happy for one run each inning. You score seven runs and you’re going to be tough to beat.’ Sam kept us in the game and then Sage came in and did a great job.”
Gwynn Park (0-1) got a decent outing from reliever Randolph Smith, who kept the Bulldogs in check for four innings until the hosts finally broke the game open with a five-run sixth. Despite the setback, Yellow Jackets’ coach Matt Cooke was happy with the team’s performance. In many ways, it validated the revamped schedule put in place this spring which has Gwynn Park, Frederick Douglass, Friendly and Potomac facing the upper half of the 4A League.
“It’s games like this that will help us in the long run,” Cooke said. “It’s why we pushed for the schedule change over 10 years ago. We’re better off playing a quality opponent like Bowie and losing a close game like today than beating up on someone 18-0. Games like that are no good for either team. But today was a great learning experience for our guys.”
Bowie had several chances for big innings early against Gwynn Park starter Jordan Weekes, but the Bulldogs ran themselves out of good scoring chances. They managed one run in the second and another in the third without getting a hit. Diallo Adams had Bowie’s first hit, a bloop single to right in the fourth against Smith.
Gwynn Park staked their reliever to a 4-2 lead when they scored three times in the fourth, chasing Garmoe. But the Yellow Jackets soon found themselves handcuffed by Davis, who retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced and struck out six to get the victory. Only one Gwynn Park player, C.J. Miller, who was hit by a pitch in the sixth, reached against Davis.
“He came into the game down 4-2 with a runner on third and got out of it,” said Bowie senior second baseman Bennett Garner, who went 1-for-4 with two RBI and scored once. “That was a big moment in the game. Anytime you play good teams like that, you have to minimize the mistakes. We cost ourselves with some baserunning mistakes early. But playing good teams like that early in the season can only help us get better.”
Bowie 9, Gwynn Park 4
Gwynn Park (0-1) 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 — 4
Bowie (1-0) 0 1 1 1 1 5 X — 9
WP — Sage Davis. LP — Randolph Smith. 2B — GP: Joshua Gaithers. RBI — GP: Randolph Smith 2, Jordan Weekes, Lionel Thomas. B — Matt Phillips, Willie Hines, Bennett Garner 2, Dan Bieler, Diallo Adams, Sean Rowland, Darren Blackmon.