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Battenfield Dominates, Ducks Win Game 1 in Bowie, 5-1

September 21, 2021 - Eastern League (EL) - Akron RubberDucks News Release

Akron right-hander Peyton Battenfield pitched seven innings for the first time as a pro, striking out 10 batters to match a career high, while Bryan Lavastida and Jonathan Engelmann homered, and the RubberDucks held the Bowie Baysox to one hit in a 5-1 win to open the Double-A Northeast Championship Series at Prince George's Stadium Tuesday night.

Turning Point

With Akron trailing, 1-0, through three innings, third baseman José Fermín led off the fourth inning with a single to right field off Bowie right-hander Gray Fenter. Lavastida then hit a two-run home run to center field for a 2-1 RubberDucks lead. Fenter departed with two outs, and though Akron stranded the bases loaded, it held the lead the rest of the night.

Mound Presence

Battenfield allowed a home run to the first batter he faced, Bowie shortstop Jordan Westburg. Two more baserunners reached on errors against him, but he never yielded another hit, nor a baserunner in scoring position. He twice struck out four batters in a row and retired the final 13 batters he faced to complete his first career seven-inning start with one earned run on one hit, no walks and 10 strikeouts. Right-hander Nick Mikolajchak recorded the last six outs, working around a two-out walk in the eighth inning - the only Baysox baserunner in the final six innings of the game.

Duck Tales

The RubberDucks added insurance in the seventh inning, when Engelmann drilled a leadoff home run off left-hander Cameron Bishop to the trees beyond the left-field wall. With two outs, shortstop Brayan Rocchio and Fermín hit consecutive singles, and Bishop walked Lavastida to load the bases. Right fielder George Valera lined a two-run single to left field to extend the lead to 5-1, though he was thrown out at second base to end the inning.


Akron won a League Championship Series game for the first time since the title-clinching Game 3 of the 2016 Eastern League Championship Series in Trenton. RubberDucks strength & conditioning coach Scott Nealon was also on that year's field staff...Including the regular season, Akron has won nine of 13 games with Bowie, including five of seven at Prince George's Stadium...Rocchio has reached base in 22 straight games...Second baseman José Tena (0-for-4, strikeout) and left fielder Micah Pries (0-for-2, strikeout) made their Double-A debuts...Time: 2:29...Attendance: 1,494.

On the Pond

The RubberDucks play Game 2 in Bowie at 6:35 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Akron right-hander Xzavion Curry (0-0, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to face Baysox right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (1-1, 3.45 ERA). The game broadcast, powered by FirstEnergy, is on 640 WHLO, the 640 WHLO iHeartRadio channel, and, and available on MiLB.TV. Tickets for RubberDucks home Games 3-5 (if necessary) are available at

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