Bowling Green, KY – After sweeping the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Thursday night at Bowling Green Ballpark, the Hot Rods continued their winning ways with a 4-1 series-opening victory at West Michigan (10-19) on Friday night. The victory is the Hot Rods (9-19) fourth straight as they begin a six-game road trip to West Michigan and Lake County.
For the fifth straight game, Bowling Green scored first, striking for a pair of runs in the second inning against Giovanni Soto (L; 1-3). Mayo Acosta and Julio Cedeno led of the inning with consecutive singles, followed by a Kyle Spraker strikeout. With Robi Estrada batting, Acosta and Cedeno pulled off a successful double steal, moving to third and second base respectively. Estrada followed with a ground ball to shortstop, scoring Acosta to make it 1-0. Ty Morrison then brought home Cedeno to make it 2-0 thanks to a bunt single.
An inning later the Hot Rods added to their lead. Dustin Biell led off with a single to right field, earning his way on base after fouling off several 2-2 pitches. He promptly stole second against Soto to move into scoring position. Ryan Wiegand then wasted little time doubling to the gap in left-center field to put the Hot Rods up 3-0.
Jason McEachern made the lead stand up for Bowling Green, turning in six strong innings for his first win of the season. The righty gave up just one run, which came on a failed double play in the sixth inning. He scattered seven hits, walked one, and struck out four. At one point, after retiring the final batter of the second inning, he retired six in a row and nine of ten until a lead-off double in the sixth led to West Michigan’s only run.
After the Whitecaps grabbed their run in the sixth, Bowling Green got one right back in the seventh. Chris Murrill began the frame with an infield single, his third hit of the game. He stole second while Tyler Bortnick was batting. Bortnick then hit a ground ball to third base that was handled by Luis Palacios, but his throw to first was off-line and allowed Murrill to score from second base to bump the lead to 4-1.
From there, the Hot Rods bullpen did the job thanks to a scoreless inning from Deivis Mavarez and two scoreless innings from Alex Koronis, who earned his first save of the season.
The series continues on Saturday night from West Michigan. RHP Wilking Rodriguez (1-1, 3.21) takes the ball against Whitecaps RHP Ramon Lebron (3-1, 3.32). First pitch on Friday night is at 6:00 PM CDT. You can follow the game with Tom Gauthier beginning at 5:45 PM on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
The Hot Rods return home for a four game series against the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) beginning Thursday, May 13. That night the Hot Rods celebrate the birthday of country music artist and Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker with Hootie-palooza. We’ll be holding a special raffle that night with one fan going home with a guitar autographed by Darius. It’s also another Thirsty Thursday Beaver 96.7 FM and All Hit WUHU 107.
NOTES: The Hot Rods picked up 14 hits on the night, setting a new season high…they now have 59 hits in six games in the month of May…Koronis has allowed just one earned run in his last 7.2 IP (1.17 ERA).
R H E Hot Rods (9-19) 4 14 0 West Michigan (10-19) 1 7 1WP: Jason McEachern (1-4)
LP: Giovanni Soto (1-3)
S: Alex Koronis (1)