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07/31/2009 12:18 AM ET
Hot Rods Spoil Gnats Return
Ratliff extends hitting streak to 16 games with single in eighth

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SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Bowling Green Hot Rods used a five-run fourth inning to catapult themselves to an, 11-2, win over the Sand Gnats in the first game of a four-game series at Grayson Stadium Friday night. Southpaw starting pitcher Lance Hoge (0-2) suffered his second loss as he allowed five runs (four earned) in four innings of work.

Hoge pitched well through the first three innings, allowing just one hit. In the fourth, Tim Beckham led off the inning with a single and Jake Jefferies followed with a double to start the inning. After Mike Sheridan flew out, an error by Jefry Marte on a hard-hit ball by Isaias Velasquez allowed one run to score to tie the game at one.

Kyeong Kang had one of his three hits in the game after Velasquez as he singled home Jefferies to give the Hot Rods the lead. A three-run home run by Jason Corder capped the five-run frame.

Sean Ratliff waited until his last at bat before he got the hit that extended his team-long hitting streak to 16 games. The 22-year-old singled in Wilmer Flores from second in the eighth to pull the Gnats within nine.

Flores was the only Sand Gnat to record a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two doubles. Strangely enough, five of the seven Gnats hits Friday night were doubles.

Savannah (18-16, 53-51) will host the Hot Rods for game two of the four-game series beginning Saturday night at 7 p.m. It's Faith Night at Grayson Stadium and the band Fish Eyed Fools will be playing at the ballpark prior to the game beginning at 5 p.m.

Chris Schwinden (8-5, 3.44) will shoot for his team-leading ninth win when he takes the hill tomorrow for the Sand Gnats. Chris Andujar (9-3, 2.92) will try to reach double digits when he toes the slab for the Hot Rods. For tickets and more information, visit www.sandgnats.com or call 912.351.9150.

-GNATS-

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.