[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
After a two hour, 11 minute rain delay the Hot Rods came out swinging against the Savannah Sand Gnats on Friday night, pounding out an 11-2 come-from-behind win in the start of a four-game series. Bowling Green used a home run by Jason Corder and a three-hit night from Kyeong Kang to improve to 19-14 in the second half, jumping into a tie for second place with Augusta heading into the second game of the series on Saturday.
After Savannah scored in the bottom of the third, the Hot Rods came roaring back for a five-run fourth inning against starter Lance Hoge. Tim Beckham led-off with an infield single before advancing to third on Jake Jefferies’ 12th double of the season. After a fly-out to right field, Isaias Velasquez hit a ball to third that was turned into an error to score Beckham to tie the game at 1-1.
The inning continued when Kyeong Kang smacked an RBI single to left field to score Jefferies and give the Hot Rods a 2-1 lead. A few pitches later Jason Corder drove his fourth home run of the season over the left field wall to give the Hot Rods a 5-2 lead. The blast gave was Corder’s second homer since returning from injury, both of the long balls being three-run homers. It also extended his hitting streak to four games.
After the Hot Rods took the lead starter Matt Moore breezed through his only easy inning of the night, retiring the Sand Gnats in order in the bottom of the frame. It was the only perfect inning he had on the night as he allowed two on in each of the first three frames. The only time the Sand Gnats scored was in the third when Moore walked Josh Satin, went to second on a wild pick off throw, and then scored on a double by Wilmer Flores.
Moore left the game after four, allowing three hits and one unearned run. He struck out six, including four of the final five batters he faced. He walked threw and threw a wild pitch before he left, as well. For the month of July, was 2-1 with three no-decisions in six starts. He threw a total of 32.2 innings, giving up just seven earned runs for a 1.93 ERA, the second straight sub-2.00 ERA. He struck out 39 batters, raising his season total to 132, second most in the South Atlantic.
Bowling Green continued the offensive onslaught with a three run sixth inning. Velasquez Kang both walked to lead off the inning against reliever Phillips Orta. During a strikeout of Jason Corder, Velasquez and Kang completed a successful double-steal, leaving runners at second and third. Justin Reynolds followed with a ground ball single through the right side of a drawn-in infield, picking up his 23rd RBI. With runners at first and third, Reynolds stole second base, drawing a throw from catcher Jean Luc Blaquiere that skipped into center field. The error allowed Kang to score, while Reynolds took third before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Robi Estrada.
The Hot Rods added their final three runs in the seventh thanks to a bases-loaded, two-run double from Kyeong Kang. Jason Corder then followed with an RBI ground-out to shortstop, giving him 4 RBI to tie a career-high set in July of 2008 with Hudson Valley. Kang, meanwhile, had a perfect night going 3-3 with two walks, two doubles, a single, and two RBI in five plate appearances.
Neil Schenk (4-2) earned the win for the Hot Rods, throwing two scoreless frames on one hit and one walk. Schenk has now allowed just two earned runs since the All-Star Break covering a span of ten games and 19.2 innings. Shane Dyer (2 IP, 1 ER) and Diego Echeverria (scoreless ninth) followed up Schenk to wrap up the Hot Rods largest margin of victory in 2009.
The series continues on Saturday night at Grayson Stadium with game two. RHP Chris Andujar (9-3, 2.92) is scheduled to re-join the roster to make the start against Savannah RHP Chris Schwinden (8-5, 3.44). First pitch is 6:05 PM CDT. Pre-game coverage begins on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com with Tom Gauthier at 5:50 PM CDT.
The Hot Rods return home to begin an eight-game home stand on Saturday, August 8 at 7:05 PM. The first 1,000 fans into that night’s game against Greenville (Boston Red Sox) will received a replica of Bowling Green Ballpark courtesy of BB&T. 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.