[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
On the night the Hot Rods surpassed 200,000 fans, starting pitcher Frank De Los Santos bounced back from a tough start in Kannapolis by throwing one of the best of his career on Thursday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. The lefty threw five no-hit innings in a 4-0 Hot Rods loss to the West Virginia Power (33-23, 60-66). The loss is the Hot Rods (28-29, 62-65) eighth in nine ball games and their second in three games against the Power. It leaves Bowling Green nine games behind Asheville as the Tourists had the night off. Their playoff elimination number is down to three with 11 games to go in the regular season.
De Los Santos, the Koch Air Coolest Pitcher, worked five strong innings for Bowling Green, despite having command issues early in the game. In the first two innings he issued two walks and hit a batter but ended both innings with a double play.
After the second inning, De Los Santos was real stingy. One batter reached on an error in the fourth before De Los Santos hit another batter in the fifth. Both base runners, however, were immediately picked off before De Los Santos worked his way out of each inning. Without giving up a hit he walked two and hit two while striking out three.
De Los Santos took a no-decision as West Virginia got to Shane Dyer (1-9) in the top of the seventh. Dyer hit two men in the inning while giving up a one-out single to Kyle Morgan to load the bases. That’s when Bobby Spain laced a two-run single to right field to put the Power on top 2-0. Two batters later, Adenson Chourio slapped a two-run double down the left field line to put the Power up 4-0.
The four runs were more than enough for West Virginia starter Brian Leach (6-3). The right-hander threw a career-high 8.2 shutout innings, allowing just three hits. After double plays ended the first two innings, including a bases loaded DP in the second, only two more Hot Rods hitters reached base against Leach – Jason Corder on a seventh inning error and Kyeong Kang on a ninth inning single. Leach struck out seven and walked just two in his outing.
Tim Beckham had one of the three Hot Rods hits, going 1-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to ten games. The double was Beckham’s 33rd, the most of any shortstop in the South Atlantic and Midwest Leagues.
The series comes to an end on Friday night as the Hot Rods send RHP Juan Santana (0-0, 2.70) to the mound against RHP Aaron Pribanic (2-1, 2.70) on Friday night. Join the Hot Rods for the Fireworks Finale presented by WBKO and Auto Appreciation Night presented by State Farm. First pitch at Bowling Green Ballpark is 7:05 PM. Gates open at 5:30 PM for season ticket holders and 6 PM for the general public. For tickets, visit bghotrods.com You can follow the game on the radio beginning at 6:20 PM with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.