[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
On the day the Hot Rods hosted IGA Kids Fest at Bowling Green Ballpark, the Hot Rods were treated like kids by the Lake County Captains, forced to spend nine innings in ‘time-out’ in an 8-2 loss on Sunday afternoon. The loss is the third straight for Bowling Green, their longest skid of the second half. But, they remain in third place in the Southern Division’s second-half standings thanks to loss by Asheville and Augusta.
The Captains broke the scoreless tie thanks to lead-off walks to begin the top of the second inning. Starting pitcher Chris Andujar (9-3) walked John Allman and Karexon Sanchez before getting a fly-ball out from Chris Nash, which moved Allman to third. The Captain then tried a double-steal, resulting in Sanchez being caught and tagged out in a run down as Allman scored to make it a 1-0 Captains lead.
Two innings later the Captains broke the game wide open against Andujar. With one down, Allman doubled and then scored on a triple by Sanchez. The shortstop would score himself when Nash hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bump the lead to 3-0. After a two-out walk, the Captains strung together three straight hits, including an RBI single by Mark Thompson and a two-run double from Delvi Cid to push the lead to 6-0.
Andujar came out for the fifth and struck out the side after a lead-off single by Donnie Webb. He left the game after that inning, working a total of five frames. He allowed season-highs in runs (six) and walks (4) while allowing six hits. He ended the game with four strikeouts, raising his season total to 50. The loss is his first since April 30, snapping a team-high seven-game winning streak.
While the Captains offense was getting after Andujar, the Hot Rods had a tough time with Lake County’s Chris Jones (W; 4-2). The left-hander was dominating through six innings, allowing just four hits and one walk with six strikeouts. He allowed multiple base runners in just one inning, the fourth, and allowed just one runner to reach second base.
After Lake County tacked on two more runs in the seventh against Neil Schenk, Bowling Green tried to make a comeback in the ninth inning. Mike Sheridan doubled with one out and then took third base on a wild pitch from reliever Matt Langwell. John Mollicone worked before Jason Corder picked up an RBI single to make it an 8-1 game. After Justin Reynolds flew out, Robi Estrada picked up his third base hit to load the bases for Anthony Scelfo. The Hot Rods centerfielder, 0-4 to that point, delivered an RBI single to cut the lead to 8-2 while extending his hitting streak to a career-best nine games. The rally ended there, however, as Tim Beckham grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game with an 8-2 final.
Estrada was named Koch Air Hottest Hitter, going 3-4 on the afternoon. He had a good weekend for the Hot Rods, going 5-9 between Saturday and Sunday, picking up his 10th and 11th multi-hit games of the season.
The series continues on Monday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. RHP Joe Cruz (4-5, 3.62) faces Lake County’s LHP T.J. McFarland (6-4, 4.05) in the second game of the series. First pitch is at 7:05 PM. Gates open at 5:30 PM for season ticket holders and 4 PM for the general public.
Monday night is a MinitMart Monday at the ballpark. If you purchase an O’Deli’s sub at MinitMart, you’ll receive a coupon for a free child’s ticket with the purchase of a full-price adult box seat, good for Monday games at Bowling Green Ballpark. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or head to the Hot Rods ticket office at the corner of 8th Avenue and Center Street at Bowling Green Ballpark. You can also follow the game on the radio with Tom Gauthier at 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com. Pre-game coverage begins at 4:50 PM CDT.