(Bowling Green, KY) - Anthony Scelfo and Jake Jefferies both had a double, a single, and walk, getting on base three times against the Hickory Crawdads on Sunday afternoon. Their efforts weren't enough, however, as the Crawdads stole their second straight from Bowling Green, winning 8-4 at Bowling Green Ballpark. The loss drops the Hot Rods to 26-21 in the second half, 60-57 overall. They finished their eight-game home stand 5-3, their best record over an eight-game stretch at home. They remain four games behind division-leading Asheville and two games behind second-place Augusta heading into an eight-game road trip on Monday night.
For the third straight game the Crawdads struck first by scoring three times in a sloppy second inning. After consecutive bunts, a sacrifice bunt left runners at second and third with one out. That's when Eric Fry lofted a fly ball to left field that should have been handled but instead fell in for a two-run double and a 2-0 Crawdads lead. After an errant pick-off throw by De Los Santos advanced Fry to third, he scored on a groundout by Leury Garcia for a 3-0 lead.
De Los Santos eventually got out of the second inning without any further damage, pitching five full frames. He allowed three runs on seven hits, four of which came in the second inning. He struck out two and didn't issue a walk for the third straight inning.
The Hot Rods offense, meanwhile, took awhile to get going. They produced doubles in each of the first, second, and fifth innings, but couldn't get another hit in any of those frames against starter Joe Wieland (4-4), who worked 5.1 innings for his fourth win.
After the Crawdads scored two more runs in the sixth, the Hot Rods finally strung together an attack in the last of the sixth. Anthony Scelfo , your Koch Air Hottest Hitter, led-off with the Hot Rods fourth double of the game, coming around to score two batters later on a Jake Jefferies single to put the Hot Rods on the board.
Wieland left the game at that point, giving way to relief pitcher Mark Hamburger. His first batter, Isaias Velasquez, singled to right field to put runners at first and second. After an infield pop-up and a wild pitch, Mike Sheridan singled to center to plate both runners and make it a 5-3 game.
Hickory, though, wouldn't go away quietly plating another three runs in the top of the seventh. Three of the first four batters reached against Echeverria, who allowed both runs in the sixth. After Echeverria was lifted with runners at first and second, Shane Dyer came on to allow both runners to score to bump the lead back to 8-3.
The Hot Rods rallied for another run in the last of the seventh but, once again, missed an opportunity. With two outs, Scelfo singled in front of consecutive walks from Tim Beckham and Jake Jefferies. Hamburger would leave the game for Corey Ragsdale, who came in with the bases loaded. He walked Velasquez to make it an 8-4 game but induced Kyeong Kang into a fly out to left field to end the inning.
That would be the Hot Rods last rally as they ended a frustrating day by leaving eight men on base. They also finished the game going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Scelfo and Jefferies both finished 2-4 with a double and a walk. Scelfo scored two runs, bringing his team-leading total to 54. Jefferies picked up an RBI, giving him 49 on the season.
After splitting the series with Hickory, the Hot Rods now embark on their final eight-game road trip of the season, one of just two road trips remaining in 2009. RHP Nick Barnese (5-5, 2.19) opens the road trip in Greensboro, NC, against Greensboro RHP Kyle Kaminska (8-7, 5.02). First pitch is at 6:05 PM CDT. You can follow the game on the radio beginning at 5:50 PM with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
The Hot Rods return home for a seven-game home stand on Tuesday, August 25 against the West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates). The seven game home stand features Kraft Singles Tuesday, Thirsty Thursday presented by All Hit WUHU and No. 1 Country Beaver 96.7 on August 27, and post-game fireworks presented by WBKO on Friday, August 28. For tickets and a complete list of promotions visit www.bghotrods.com.