[Via email from Tom Gauthier, Bowling Green Hot Rods Director of Broadcast/Media Relations.]
Beloit, WI – Tomas Francisco hit a two-run double while the Hot Rods bullpen pitched five scoreless innings to send Bowling Green to a 3-1 win over the Beloit on Sunday. The victory helps the Hot Rods avoid the sweep in Beloit while improving their record to 3-3 on their six-game road trip. They also improved to 5-6 in their final game against the Western Division in the first half of the season.
The Hot Rods broke through first in an early pitcher’s duel by grabbing two runs in the fourth inning against Michael Tonkin. The rally happened quickly as the first three batters all swung at the first pitch. Gabe Cohen reached on a bunt single before Mayo Acosta took the first pitch he saw into right field to put runners at the corners. After an error moved Acosta to second, Tomas Francisco belted his first pitch to the wall in right-center, plating two runs for a 2-0 lead.
The Snappers grabbed a run back on a failed double steal in the bottom of the fourth, but that was all they were able to get against starting pitcher Kirby Yates. The right-hander, in his second professional start, allowed just one hit, which came in the fourth inning. He lasted four full frames, giving up a run. He walked three and struck out a career-high eight before turning the ball over to the Hot Rods bullpen.
Alex Koronis worked a perfect fifth before the Hot Rods grabbed an insurance run in the top of the sixth. Francisco figured into the rally again as he began the inning by taking a fastball off the jersey. Julio Cedeno walked before Diogenes laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third with one out.
All-star Chris Murrill came up next, but struck out for the second out of the frame. After Tyler Bortnick was hit by a pitch, Brett Nommensen singled into right field to score Francisco to give Bowling Green a 3-1 lead.
From there, the bullpen made it stand up the rest of the way. Koronis ended up working three perfect frames, recording three strikeouts to earn the win. Scott Shuman worked the eighth and ninth to pick up his team-leading seventh save of the season.
The Hot Rods now head to Lansing, Michigan with a 3-3 record on their ten-game road trip. After an off-day on Monday, the Hot Rods and Lansing Lugnuts play two games on Tuesday night beginning at 5:05 PM CDT. LHP Kyle Lobstein and RHP Alexander Colome are the scheduled starters for Bowling Green. Each game will be seven innings long. You can follow along the games with Tom Gauthier beginning at 4:50 PM CDT on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
The Hot Rods return home for their final three-game home stand in the first half of the season from June 18-20 against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers). Friday, June 18, is Axle’s Birthday and Mascot Mania with post-game fireworks presented by Atmos Energy. On Saturday the first 1,000 fans 13 & up will receive a Fans Choice Tee courtesy of First Choice Home Medical. Sunday is Father’s Day and kids can run the bases and play catch on the field with dad after the game. To order tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or call the Hot Rods Ticket Office at 270.901.2121.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed by 1:47 as rain passed through the area…Hot Rods pitchers retired 14 of the final 16 batters they faced…Beloit had just three base runners after the second inning…Mark Thomas, Julio Cedeno, and Chris Murrill all saw their five-game hitting streaks come to an end.