[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
Playing their final game with Augusta in front of 3,623 fans, Nick Barnese pitched five scoreless innings to lead the Hot Rods to a 3-2 win on Tuesday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. Barnese picked up his fourth straight win, setting a new career-high. The victory gives the Hot Rods (8-4, 42-40) a split of the four-game series as well as a 6-6 record through 12 games with the defending South Atlantic League champions.
While he earned the win, Barnese certainly had to work for it as Augusta was retired in order just twice in the first five innings. In the second, they loaded the bases with one out before Barnese retired Johnny Monell and Wendell Fairley to retire the side. The GreenJackets left runners at first and second in the third before leaving them loaded again in the fourth. Barnese ended his outing allowing five hits and three walks, but he stranded eight runners and leaving Augusta 2-6 with men in scoring position. The Koch Air Coolest Pitcher of the Game, Barnese is now 4-1 with a microscopic ERA of 1.09.
The Hot Rods offense, meanwhile, took one time through the order to figure out Augusta’s Kyle Nicholson (4-8). With Anthony Scelfo leading off the fourth with his second at-bat, he recorded a single to right for the first Bowling Green hit of the game. Two batters later Jake Jefferies single to right field scoring Scelfo and picking up his 43rd RBI of the season.
The scoring would not stop there as Kyeong Kang followed Jefferies with a single to right field. Jefferies went from first to third on the base hit and then scored on a wild throw from the right fielder Juan Perez. Behind Jefferies, Kang advanced to second on the throw to third. He then advanced to third when left fielder Wendell Fairley delivered a bad throw to home trying to retire Jefferies at the plate. Kang eventually came around two pitches later on a double to left field by Isaias Velasquez to give the Hot Rods a 3-0 lead.
After Barnese left the game the Hot Rods bullpen took over with Jamie Bagley allowing a two-run homer to Monell in the sixth inning before retiring the final five batters he faced. Marquis Fleming then set down six of seven he faced in the final two innings to record his fourth save. As a ‘pen, Bagley and Fleming retired 11 of the final 12 to come to the plate after the home run.
For Augusta, Nicholson went the distance throwing his third complete game of the season. The righty allowed all three runs and four of his five hits in the fourth inning. He struck out six and walked two, falling to 0-1 in two games against the Hot Rods.
Bowling Green continues its eight-game home stand with the start of a four-game set against the Charleston RiverDogs on Wednesday night. This game features the 2009 Bark in the Ballpark presented by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Well-behaved, leashed dogs will be let into Bowling Green Ballpark free of charge with their master’s receipt of a paid box seat. The Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society will be on hand with information and adoptable dogs. Plus, Christian Family Radio will hold a pre-game donation drive to benefit the shelter. You can find a complete list of wanted items at www.bghotrods.com.
Left-hander Matt Moore (5-3, 2.80) gets the ball for the Hot Rods against Charleston righty David Phelps (9-2, 2.84). Gates open at 5:30 PM for season ticket holds and 6 PM for the general public. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or head to the Hot Rods ticket office at the corner of 8th Avenue and Center Street in downtown Bowling Green. You can also follow the game on the radio with Tom Gauthier at 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:50 PM.