(Bowling Green, KY) - Matt Moore continued his dominance of the Ashville Tourists on Saturday night, striking out ten batters in a 4-3 Hot Rods win. While Moore didn't qualify for the win, the Hot Rods (29-30, 63-66) staved elimination by beating the first place Tourists (37-23, 63-66) to start a three-game series at Bowling Green Ballpark.
For the first time in the home stand, the Hot Rods scored first, taking advantage of an Asheville error in the first inning. With Anthony Scelfo standing at second, Isaias Velasquez bounced a ball to third that was muffed by Jimmy Cesario, deflecting the ball into shallow left field to allow Scelfo to score the game's first run. A few pitches later Mike Sheridan made the Tourists pay by hitting a long home run to right field to bump the Hot Rods lead to 3-0.
Bowling Green added another run against starter Juan Nicasio in the last of the second. Jeremy Beckham reached on a one-out single before Scelfo smacked his second double of the game, scoring Beckham for a 4-1 Hot Rods lead.
Moore, the Koch Air Coolest Pitcher, took a no-decision, leaving the game after a two-out walk in the fifth inning. The lefty ended up allowing two runs when his fifth inning walk came around to score. He gave up just two hits, including a solo home run in the second inning, while striking out ten. He now leads the league with 169 strikeouts just 119 innings.
Asheville will not be sad to be done with Matt Moore in 2009. The lefty flat-out dominated Asheville, throwing 16.2 innings and allowing just three runs on three hits. He struck out 31 batters while walking just seven.
Neil Schenk took over for Moore in the fifth, allowing one inherited runner and a runner of his own to score to cut the Hot Rods lead to 4-3. Schenk clamped down from there, throwing two more scoreless innings before turning the ball over to Josh Satow in the eighth. The Hot Rods third lefty of the game earned the save by retiring six of the seven batters he faced over the final two innings.
Scelfo took home Koch Air Hottest Hitter honors by picking up a three-hit game with his 17th and 18th doubles of the season. He also drove in a run while scoring his team-leading 58th. Sheridan's 14th home run was part of a two hit night as he pushed his RBI total to 53. Jeremy Beckham had two hits while his brother, Tim, singled in the seventh inning to stretch his hitting streak to a dozen games.
The series continues with the first of back-to-back matinees on Sunday afternoon. RHP Chris Andujar (10-4, 2.79) makes another bid at his 11th win of the season. He'll face Asheville RHP Dan Houston (7-9, 3.88). Sunday is Disc Golf Day featuring a variety of disc golf events including a $10,000 hole-in-one challenge. First pitch is at 1:05 PM. Gates open at 11:30 AM for season ticket holders and 12 PM for the general public.
For tickets, visit bghotrods.com You can follow the game on the radio beginning at 6:20 PM with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.