[Via email from Tom Gauthier, Director of Broadcast/Media Relations for the Bowling Green Hot Rods.]
Bowling Green, KY – A day after scoring 11 runs and losing, the Hot Rods scored another 11 runs to pound Kane County 11-6 on Sunday afternoon. Brett Nommensen homered twice and the Hot Rods tallied two five-run innings to earn a victory that snapped a three-game losing skid and salvaged the finale of the series with Kane County. The Hot Rods finished their 12-game home stand with a 6-6 record and now head on the road for a ten-game road trip through Wisconsin and Michigan.
The Hot Rods big second inning started when they were down 3-0 after Kane County scored two runs in the first and another run in the second. Ryan Wiegand began the second with a walk followed by a double from Kyle Spraker. Both runners came across home plate to make it a one run game when Tomas Francisco dumped a single into right field for his first RBI of the season.
Francisco moved to second when Julio Cedeno walked, then took third on a fielder’s choice by Robi Estrada that put runners at the corners with one out. A walk to Ty Morrison loaded the bases before Kane County starter Dan Straily struck out Chris Murrill for the second out, bringing up Tyler Bortnick. Straily got ahead with two strikes, but Bortnick caught a hanging curve ball and laced a single into center field to score two runs and give the Hot Rods a 4-3 lead.
That was the end for Straily, who lasted just 1.2 innings and set up a long day for the bullpen. A.J. Huttenlocker came on in relief with runners at the corners and was greeted with a perfectly executed double-steal by Morrison and Bortnick to plate the fifth run of the inning. Huttenlocker retired Wiegand for the final out, but the Hot Rods scored five times to tie a season-high for a single inning. They tallied three hits and took advantage of three walks to plate their five runs.
Kane County bounced back with another run against Wilking Rodriguez in the third, cutting the lead down to 5-4. But that was all that Rodriguez would allow. He gave up a one-out single in the fourth and then set down the next eight straight batters to last six full innings. The righty earned his fourth win of the season, striking out six total batters, five coming in the final three innings.
As Rodriguez settled in and started to dominate the Cougars, Nommensen got started as well. The outfielder smacked a 3-2 pitch off the video board in right-center field to bump the lead to 6-4 with two outs in the fifth.
Two innings later the Hot Rods busted it wide open, once again featuring Nommensen. Relief pitcher Connor Hoehn began the inning by allowing a single to Bortnick, who promptly stole second. Nommensen stepped in, worked the count full, and then crushed another full count offering onto 7th Avenue. The two-run bomb was his fourth of the season to push the lead to 8-4. He becomes the second player in less than a week to smack two homers in a game, joining Wiegand who pulled off the feat on Tuesday night.
After the Nommensen home run, the inning continued to unravel for Kane County. Hoehn walked Wiegand and then gave up a single to Spraker, which earned him an early shower. He gave way to Bo Schultz, who walked the bases loaded before uncorking two wild pitches to plate two more runs. Robi Estrada then knocked in the final run of the inning with a blooped double into shallow left field for an 11-4 lead.
Kane County tallied two uneventful runs, only one earned, against Kirby Yates over the final two innings to cap the scoring at 11-6.
Nommensen led the way on the afternoon finishing 2-4 with the pair of homers and two RBI. Kyle Spraker went 2-4, extending his hitting streak to four games, during which he is 8-15 with a home run. Overall seven of nine starters scored while eight of nine players reached base safely.
The Hot Rods now enjoy on off-day on Monday before beginning a lengthy 10-game road trip through Wisconsin and Michigan. They’ll open their first series against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee Brewers) on Tuesday night in Appleton, WI. LHP Kyle Lobstein (2-3, 5.36) takes the ball in game one against Wisconsin RHP Nick Bucci (3-2, 1.74). First pitch is at 7:05 PM CDT. You can follow the game with Tom Gauthier beginning at 6:50 PM on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
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