Despite beating the Harrisburg Senators 5-2 Sunday afternoon, the Double-A Bowie Baysox were officially eliminated from Eastern League playoff contention when the Reading Phillies defeated the Connecticut Defenders 6-0.
Bowie pushed their most recent winning streak to three games with the victory, but needed Reading to lose their final two games to force a one-game playoff to get into the post-season.
Steve Johnson got the win, his third straight, but would have liked it better if Bowie were still in the playoff hunt.
"You don't want that to happen, but you still got to go and end the season on a good note and hopefully we can win this last game and at least go out positive," Johnson said.
While Bowie's 2009 roster did not have the star-power that 2008 had with Matt Wieters, Lou Montanez and Nolan Reimold in the middle of the order and Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken, David Hernandez and Chris Tillman in the rotation, they certainly had their chances, remaining in contention up through the second-to-last day of the season.
"It would have been nice to repeat," Baysox manager Brad Komminsk said. "We played decent, I think, down the stretch. We had our opportunities over the course of the year and we just didn't get it done. We made some mistakes when we couldn't afford to and couldn't overcome them."
Bowie had a key four-game series in Reading before returning home for the final eight games. Bowie could only get a split and did not gain any ground on the Phillies who clinched their playoff berth with their win Sunday.
"You have to give Reading credit. They played good against us, obviously, and they played good up in Connecticut also," Komminsk said.
Catcher Adam Donachie, who hit a solo home run in the Baysox's victory was the only position player remaining on the active roster from opening day and was disappointed with the outcome, despite the victory.
"It's a downer, it's kind of a bummer," Donachie said. "Everyone out here, people that actually got moved up here, they weren't in the playoff hunt down there and they came up here, and really wanted to go. Me, personally, I really wanted to go and I guess I was the only position player left on the roster from opening day."
As Donachie alluded to, the Baysox got an infusion of young talent from High-A Frederick when September came. As a result of the call-ups to the Major League level, Bowie had to send players to Triple-A Norfolk, opening spots for Carolina League MVP Brandon Waring, Matt Angle, Tyler Henson, Pedro Florimon and Brian Parker.
"They did a nice job," Komminsk said. "I think they all played pretty good."
He even went as far to say that they would have been good assets for the Baysox if they had been with Bowie earlier than the beginning of September.
"We probably could have used all those guys a couple weeks ago, we'd probably be in the playoffs," Komminsk said.
While Komminsk does not know if he will manager in Bowie again next season, he did have this to say about next year's Baysox:
"It should be fun year next year. We got a quick shot at some of the guys so it should be fun."