The Game: The Bowling Green Hot Rods rally falls short as they lose to the Dayton Dragons 8-6 in the Hot Rods home opener at Bowling Green Ballpark on Sunday evening.
Dayton took a big lead in the first inning courtesy of a collection of extra base hits as well as a rough inning of wild pitches and an error by Wilking Rodriguez. Mariekson Gregorius led off with a triple to center then scored on an RBI double by Henry Rodriguez. Andrew Means followed with a double to left that scored Rodriguez. Chris Richburg reached on an error, scoring Means on the play and moving Richburg to third. Richburg moved to third on a wild pitch and then also scored on another wild pitch. Frank Pfister followed with a solo home run to give the Dragons a 5-0 lead.
Dayton added another run in the second inning. Mariekson Gregorius singled to center to get things started. Andrew Means drove home with an RBI single to increase the lead to 6-0.
The Hot Rods scored their first run in the bottom of the second. Ryan Wiegand led off the innings with a double to center. Wiegand later scored on a ground out by Eli Sonoqui to give the Hot Rods their first run of the game.
Th Hot Rods struck again in the fourth inning. Mark Thomas singled to third. Eli Sonoqui was hit by a pitch moving Thomas to second. Thomas then scored on an RBI single by Kyle Spraker to bring the Hot Rods to within four runs of the lead 6-2.
Bowling Green kept chipping away at the lead, adding another run in the fifth. Diogenes Luis double to left to put a runner in scoring position. Luis advanced to third on a wild pitch and then later scored on a ground ball by Brett Nommensen to cut the lead in half 6-3.
The Hot Rods rally continued into the sixth inning. Mark Thomas delivered a solo home run to lead off the inning. Eli Sonoqui and Kyle Spraker followed with back to back walks. Ty Morrison grounded into a force out, advancing Sonoqui to third and losing Spraker at second. Diogenes Luis grove home Sonoqui with a bunt single. Morrison then scored on a ground ball by Chris Murrill to tie the game 6-6.
The game remained tied until the ninth inning when Dayton struck for two more runs. Mariekson Gregorius singled to center to lead things off. Andrew Mean singled to left and Byron Wiley drew an intentional walk to load the bases. Chris Richburg reached on interference, scoring Gregorius. Then Kevin Coddington drove home Mean to give the Dragons the lead. The Hot Rods could not push across a run in the bottom of the inning and fell 8-6.
Wilking Rodriguez gave up 6 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits with 6 strikeouts in 5 innings. Jake Sullivan followed with 1 2/3 shut-out innings, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks. Kirby Yates suffered the loss, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits with a strikeout and a walk.
Hot Rods Player of the Game: Diogenes Luis; 2 for 3 with a double, RBI, run scored and a stolen base.
RP Top Prospect Watch:
Tyler Bortnick: 0 for 4 with a strikeout and a walk.
Ty Morrison: 0 for 4 with a run scored, reached base on a force out.
Wilking Rodriguez: 6 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits with 6 strikeouts in 5 innings, also threw 2 wild pitches and committed an error.
A Look Ahead: The Hot Rods (1-3) will face the Dayton Dragons (4-0) in game two of the series on Monday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. Kyle Lobstein will be starting for the Hot Rods against Jacob Johnson for Dayton.