BOWLING GREEN, KY - The Bowling Green Hot Rods completed their three game sweep of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Bowling Green Ballpark with a 7-0 win on Friday night. Reinaldo Lopez tossed seven innings and was backed up by a thirteen hit attack by his offense.
Bowling Green (57-39 overall, 19-9 second half) scored first for the third straight game in the series. Andrew Toles tripled to start the bottom of the first. Tyler Goeddel grounded out to short to drive in Toles for a 1-0 lead. The Hot Rods added to their lead in the second inning. Joey Rickard doubled to start the inning. Patrick Leonard followed with an RBI double. Later in the inning, a sacrifice fly by Tommy Coyle drove in Leonard and Bowling Green was up 3-0.
Goeddel tripled in a run in the bottom of the fourth and scored on a single by Luke Maile to make the score 5-0. That single by Maile knocked Wisconsin starting pitcher Eric Semmelhack out of the game. Semmelhack allowed five runs on eight hits with three walks in 3-1/3 innings.
The Rattlers (40-52, 11-16) had plenty of chances in the first half of the game against Lopez.
Alfredo Rodriguez started the game with a single. But he was doubled off first after Michael Reed lined out to second base. In the third inning, Tyler Roberts lead off the inning with a single. Adrian Williams hit a line drive to third. Goeddel snared it and fired to first to double off Roberts. In the fourth. Reed was on third and Tyrone Taylor was on first with no outs. But, Reed was picked off third on a snap throw by catcher Justin O'Conner.
Wisconsin loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth. Garrett Cooper drew a walk, Roberts was hit by a pitch, and Williams singled to left. Rodriguez stepped in and lined a 1-0 pitch right at Goeddel, who caught the ball and fired to second to double Roberts off second base to end the inning.
Reed would double to start the sixth inning, but would be left stranded as Lopez retired the next three batters of the sixth.
Lopez scattered eight hits over seven innings and struck out five in the game to earn his fifth win of the season.
Bowling Green put the game away in the bottom of the seventh. Justin O'Conner homered off Rodolfo Fernandez to lead off the inning. The final tally of the game crossed the plate when Fernandez balked with runners at the corners to let the runner from third cross the plate for a 7-0 cushion.
Stone Speer entered the game for the Hot Rods in the top of the eighth and retired the side in order in that inning and again in the ninth to complete the shutout. It was the first time the Timber Rattlers have been shutout since May 29 of this season when Beloit beat them 3-0 at Pohlman Field.
Taylor and Reed both had a pair of hits to lead Wisconsin's offense.
The Timber Rattlers continue their road trip with game one of a three game series against the Dayton Dragons, the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, Ohio. Wisconsin sends Tyler Wagner (7-7, 3.70) to the hill as the starting pitcher. Amir Garrett will be making his Midwest League debut on Saturday when he is the starting pitcher for the Dragons. Garrett had been 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA in five starts for the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League before getting the bump to Dayton.
Game time on Saturday is 6:00pm CDT. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or the IHeartRadio app starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 5:40pm. Saturday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
Justin O'Conner (9th, 0 on in 7th inning off Rodolfo Fernandez, 0 out
WP: Reinaldo Lopez (5-4)
LP: Eric Semmelhack (1-5)