Although the annual Prince George’s County baseball championship game had been delayed one day by inclement weather, the players and coaches from both squads admitted Thursday’s contest was well worth the wait after Bowie easily defeated visiting Suitland 15-1.
Bowie (19-2) scored early and often, collecting 15 hits — all singles — drawing six walks and three batters reached after being hit by pitches. Bowie has now won 11 straight games since two spring break losses to non-county opponents Broadneck and Bel Air. The Bulldogs used four pitchers on Thursday that combined to allow one unearned run on only two hits.
“There was definitely a lot to like about the way we played today,” said Bowie second-year coach Bryan Harris, whose team will face the winner of Friday’s scheduled Oxon Hill-Flowers game on Monday in the 4A South Region tournament. “We came out swinging the bats well today. We scored at least two runs in each of the first four innings and we played really good defense except for that one error in the fourth.”
Suitland (13-3) coach Michael Burroughs was hardly dismayed by Thursday’s outcome. In fact, his first impressions after looking at the scoreboard just beyond third base reminded him of how far the Rams have come this season. Suitland is set to host Henry A. Wise on Friday afternoon in the opening round of the 4A South Region playoffs, with that winner traveling to Eleanor Roosevelt on Monday.
“Like I told my guys right after the game, this is what it’s all about,” said Burroughs, a 1992 Suitland alum. “Last year I think they beat us 19-0 and 23-0 and normally the games have not been close. But my guys went out and battled today. They played hard all the way to the end. It was a big emotional lift to get that run in the fourth inning.”
Bowie, which was technically the visiting team on Thursday despite playing on its home field, scored four runs on four hits in the top of the first against Suitland starter Rashid Nero. Matt Phillips delivered a two-out, two-run single that scored Zach Quarles and Darren Blackmon. Phillips then scored on a single by Daniel Beiler and Diallo Adams added a single that scored Bieler.
“It’s always good to get off to an early start and getting those four runs in the first inning was big,” said Bowie’s Bennett Garner. “We wanted to come out fast and get the early momentum. We played really good defense today and I thought our pitchers threw well. I give a lot of credit to Suitland for winning their [division] and getting here. This was my first time playing in the county championship game.”
Bowie added to its lead by scoring six times in the top of the second. Garner had a two-run single and later scored on a groundout by Phillips. Bieler drove in another run with a single, Gary Thomas had a run-scoring groundout and Sean Rowland followed with a single that scored Adams, who was hit by a pitch. Burroughs pulled Nero after he hit Willie Hines for the second time.
Bowie padded its lead by scoring two runs in the third on a two-run single by Rowland. Adams capped a perfect day hitting (3-for-3) by smacking a two-run single in the fourth, an inning that opened when Hines reached on a passed ball. Blackmon drove in the other Bowie run that inning.
Suitland scored with two outs in the fourth. Steven Williams singled to left off Bowie reliever Brian McAbee, stole second and third and scored on an error.
Bowie 15, Suitland 1
B (19-2) 4 6 2 3 0 — 15
S (13-3) 0 0 0 1 0 — 1
WP — Sage Davis. LP — Rashid Nero. RBI: B ‑ Bennett Garner 2, Darren Blackmon 1, Matt Phillips 3, Daniel Bieler 2, Diallo Adams 3, Gary Thomas 1, Sean Rowland 3.