The Bowling Green Hot Rods held the West Michigan Whitecaps to three runs in a doubleheader sweep, winning 4-1 and 3-2. The Hot Rods improved to 37-26 ahead of Mondays series finale, which will have a first pitch at 12:05 p.m.
The early innings of game one flew by as Matthew Liberatore and Gio Arriera traded zeroes. Bowling Green had two men on base in the first, but failed to score. In the second, Rey Rivera tripled, But Liberatore finished that inning unscathed. Through five innings, both teams had combined for just five hits and the game remained scoreless.
In the sixth, Bowling Green finally broke through against Arriera. Bowling Green loaded the bases with one out, then took the lead as Seaver Whalen lined a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Michael Smith. Ford Proctor followed with an RBI double to right, scoring Kaleo Johnson. Tony Pena then struck out, but catcher Chris Proctor couldn't handle it as Chris Betts came down to score a third run. Following a pitching change, Michael Gizzi threw a wild pitch, bringing home Proctor give Bowling Green a 4-0 lead. Trey Cumbie allowed a solo homer to Rivera with two outs in the seventh, but nailed down a 4-1 win in the first game.
Liberatore (4-0) went 6.0 innings, allowing just three hits and two walks, striking out two in earning his fourth win of the year. Cumbie threw the final inning of the first game, allowing a run on a hit with two strikeouts.
In the nightcap, the Hot Rods jumped in front in the first inning. After Smith was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, Franco tripled into the right-field corner to bring home Smith, then scored when the throw was muffed by the third baseman Hector Martinez, giving Bowling Green a 2-0 lead.
The score remained the same into the fourth inning when Grant Witherspoon reached on an error to begin the inning. After advancing to second on a groundout, Whalen lined a single to left field, scoring Witherspoon to extend the lead to 3-0.
Cristopher Sanchez worked 5.0 scoreless innings, then gave way to Chris Muller in the sixth. Muller allowed a home run to Wenceel Perez to begin the inning, but retired the next two hitters. However, Martinez followed with a home run of his own, cutting the lead to 3-2.
In the seventh, Nick Padilla came on and immediately allowed hits to Parker Meadows and Avery Tuck to open the inning, putting runners on the corners with no outs. After a strikeout, Kingston Liniak attempted to tie the game with a squeeze bunt, but Padilla threw out Meadows at the plate to preserve the lead. Padilla then induced a groundout from Perez to first, securing a 3-2 win and a sweep of the doubleheader for Bowling Green.
Sanchez (1-0) went 5.0 shutout innings, scattering five hits, while striking out five without issuing a walk. Muller worked an inning, allowing two runs on two hits, while also striking out two and earning a hold. Padilla nailed down his first save, working a scoreless seventh, allowing two hits and striking out one.
Notes: In game one, Liberatore tied a career high with 6.0 innings, which he set in his last start on June 2…Franco has a 15-game on-base streak…Smith extended his hitting streak to four games in game one before having it snapped in game two…Franco had a streak of 42 consecutive at-bats and 46 consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout snapped in game one…Whalen had two hits in game two, his fourth multi-hit game of the season…Sanchez worked a season-high 5.0 innings in game two…Bowling Green has swept two doubleheaders this season (also June 2 at Lansing) and are 2-0-3 in twinbills this season…The Hot Rods improved to 5-19 when outhit by their opponents… They also are 24-11 when scoring first…Bowling Green is 14-3 in day games…The Hot Rods are 31-17 against right-handed starters…BG is 21-10 at home…Bowling Green is 12-5-2 in series this season…The Hot Rods will play the finale of the four-game series against West Michigan on Monday afternoon, with the first pitch at 12:05 p.m.…RHP Shane Baz (2-0, 1.44) will start for Bowling Green, against Whitecaps LHP Adam Wolf (2-7, 6.99)…It will be a Merchandise Monday, featuring discounts on specialty merchandise at the Body Shop team store…Fans can catch all the action with Shawn Murnin on Willie 107.9 FM, as well as, with their smart phones via the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn Radio app.
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