[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
One night after delivering the first multi-homer game for the Hot Rods, John Mollicone hit his first career grand slam, and the second in Hot Rods history, to lead his team to a 6-1 win over the Rome Braves (37-40) on Wednesday night. Mollicone now has two homers in the first two games of the series, guiding the Hot Rods to a 4-2 start to the second half of the season.
The big blast came as part of a six-run 5th inning for against Rome starter Dimasther Delgado (1-2). Anthony Scelfo began the inning reaching on an error by second baseman Joel Campusano, and the inning seemed to unravel from there. Tim Beckham followed with a chopped double down the third base line, scoring Scelfo for his third RBI of the series. Jake Jefferies followed with a single to leave runners at first and third. With Kyeong Kang batting, a passed ball eluded catcher Matt Kennelly, scoring Beckham and moving Jefferies to third. Kang eventually walked before he and Jefferies advanced ninety feet each on a sacrifice bunt from Isaias Velasquez. That was followed up by a walk to Mike Sheridan, allowing Mollicone to deposit his grand slam over the Braves bullpen in left field for a 6-0 Hot Rods lead.
In two games of the series, Mollicone has five hits, extending his hitting streak three games. He has three homers against the Braves and has driven in eight runs, bumping his season total to 13.
That one inning provided all the offense generated by either team on Wednesday night. The Braves were shut down by Frank De Los Santos (W; 4-6), who won for the first time since May 16 and the first time in three starts against Rome. After an 0-3 June, De Los Santos worked a career-high eight innings, allowing just one run on five hits. He didn’t record a strikeout but had the ground ball working, recording 18 ground-ball outs.
After the Hot Rods put up four in the fourth, Delgado and the Braves bullpen shut down the Bowling Green offense the rest of the game. Delgado retired the final 11 he faced after the grand slam while Matthew Small allowed just one base runner, a lead-off single to Kang in the ninth, which extended Kang’s hitting streak to five games.
The Hot Rods have won the first two games of this series and will go for the series victory in game three on Thursday night. The Hot Rods will send RHP Nick Barnese (2-1, 1.64) to the mound against Rome’s Zeke Spruill (7-3, 3.18). You can follow the action from Georgia with Tom Gauthier on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com. Coverage begins at 5:45 PM CDT with first pitch coming at 6:00 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.