[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
Right-handed pitcher Nick Barnese threw five solid innings, limiting Lexington to just one run in a 9-2 Hot Rods game two victory in Friday night’s doubleheader at Lexington (37-35). Barnese earned his second victory to guide the Hot Rods (35-37) to a split of the doubleheader to kick off the second half of the 2009 season.
Barnese worked the first five innings for the Hot Rods, allowing just one run on four hits. The lone run came on a Brian Pellegrini homer to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning. Over his body of work Barnese allowed multiple base runners just once, after the Hot Rods committed two errors to go along with a single in the bottom of the first inning. He struck out just two but didn’t walk anyone for the fourth time in five starts this season. He also recorded eight ground ball outs in his five innings of work.
The Hot Rods helped Barnese settle in after scoring three runs in the top of the third. With one out, Anthony Scelfo bunted his way onto first base. He went to second when Tim Beckham was hit by a pitch, then came around to score on Jake Jefferies RBI double to the gap in left center making it 1-0 Hot Rods.
The scoring would continue later in the inning as the next batter, Kyeong Kang, was ahead 3-0 when he was intentionally walked by starting pitcher Jordan Lyles (L; 4-7) to load the bases. Lyles then hit Isaias Velasquez with a pitch to force in the second run before John Mollicone delivered a sac fly to center field for a 3-0 Hot Rods lead.
The Hot Rods added four more runs in the top of the fifth inning after Pellegrini homered in the fourth. Facing relief pitcher Michael Hacker, the Legends had a sloppy inning. With runners at first and second, Hacker threw a wild pitch followed by a wild throw from Pestana which allowed Velasquez to score from second while Mollicone went from first to third. Mollicone would score two batters later when Justin Reynolds, who struck out on a ball in the dirt, reached first base on another throwing error by Pestana allowing Mollicone to score to bump the lead to 5-1. After a double by Jeremy Beckham, Scelfo picked up a two-run single to extend the lead to 7-1.
Bowling Green scored two more runs in the sixth inning against Hacker. After a single to right field by Jefferies, Kang ripped his fifth triple into the gap in right-center for his 17th RBI. He scored on a sac fly from Velasquez to run the lead to 9-1. Velasquez finished with two RBI without picking up a hit. Jefferies added three hits along with his 39th RBI. Scelfo and Kang also had two hit games for the victors.
In game one, the Legends broke a scoreless tie with three runs against starter Frank De Los Santos (L; 3-6) in the last of the third inning. After De Los Santos recorded the first out, the next five Legends all reached, resulting in three runs. Those batters reached in a bevy of ways, including two walks, a single to right, an infield single, and a single to center. De Los Santos also uncorked two wild pitches, one of them scoring a run. The Legends ultimately sent nine men to the plate, leaving the bases loaded when Kyle Miller grounded out to shortstop on a diving play by Tim Beckham that prevented any more scoring in the inning.
The Hot Rods would start their comeback in the top of the fourth. Two errors and an infield single left Tim Beckham at third base and Jake Jefferies at third for Kyeong Kang. Kang, who was named to the XM All-Star Futures Game on Thursday, struck out as the Hot Rods tried a double steal. Catcher Freddie Hernandez threw to second to try to get Jefferies, but he stopped mid-way between first and second as Beckham broke for the plate. Shortstop Jorge De Leon made a good throw home but Beckham’s slide was better resulting in the Hot Rods first run.
An inning later the Hot Rods got a lead-off double from Mike McCormick followed by a single to left field by Jason Tweedy, leaving runners at first and third base. Robi Estrada lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score McCormick, but Anthony Scelfo bounced into a double play started by the pitcher Kyle Greenwalt (W; 5-7).
De Los Santos would allow one more run before exiting the game mid-way through the fifth, the final run scoring on a single to left field by Hernandez. De Los Santos worked 4.2 before being lifted, allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits. He struck out just one while walking four to tie a season high. He also recorded 12 of his 14 outs on ground balls, with the other put-outs being a strikeout and a foul-out to first base.
Greenwalt, who earned his second victory in three starts against Bowling Green, worked five innings of two-run ball, giving up just four hits. He struck out four and walked just one in the victory. Greenwalt is now 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA through three starts against the Hot Rods.
The series continues with game three on Saturday night at Applebee’s Park. Left-hander Matt Moore (3-3, 3.41) starts for the Hot Rods against Lexington lefty Brad Dydalewicz (4-1, 2.59). You can follow the action with Tom Gauthier on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com. Coverage begins at 5:50 PM CDT with first pitch coming at 7:05 PM CDT.
The Hot Rods begin their next home stand against the Augusta GreenJackets on July 4 with postgame fireworks presented by WBKO. For tickets and a complete list of promotions, visit www.bghotrods.com or stop by the Hot Rods ticket office at Bowling Green Ballpark.