Lansing, MI- The Bowling Green Hot Rods swept a double header against the Lansing Lugnuts on Sunday, earning a 7-0 victory in the first game, a continuation on Saturday's rain-suspended contest, and a 4-1 win in game-two at Cooley Law School Stadium. The Hot Rods improve to 34-23 with the two wins heading into a league-wide off day on Monday.
The Hot Rods started game one with a 1-0 lead as Fitz Stadler took the mound for Lansing in relief. In the third inning, the Hot Rods extended their lead on four-straight hits against Stadler. Michael Smith led off with a single to right and went to third on an errant pickoff attempt at first. Franco dropped a double down the left-field line to score Smith and give Bowling Green a 2-0 advantage. Kaleo Johnson singled to left, moving Franco to third, and Seaver Whalen singled to left to score Franco and make it a 3-0 game.
Bowling Green plated four more in the fifth, batting around while chasing Stadler from the mound while Lansing brought in reliever Will McAffer. Johnson led off with a single to left, moving to second when Whalen singled to center. Both runners moved up when Ford Proctor grounded out to second and Johnson scored with two outs thanks to an RBI single to left by Beau Brundage to give Bowling Green a 4-0 edge. Osmy Gregorio walked to put runners at the corners and Tony Pena singled to right, driving home Brundage and moving Gregorio to third while making it 6-0 in the process. With Gregorio on third, Smith singled to third, plating Gregorio to give Bowling Green a 7-0 lead and going on to win by the same score.
Nick Padilla was on the lineup card to being game-one yesterday, but never threw a pitch. Shane Baz (2-0) tossed five scoreless innings while allowing two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in a win. Cristopher Sanchez threw three innings in relief without allowing a run with two hits and three strikeouts. Trey Cumbie threw a spotless ninth out of the bullpen.
In game two, the Hot Rods took another first inning lead, this time against Cobi Johnson and the Lugnuts. With two outs, Kaleo Johnson and Chris Betts both worked walks to bring up Grant Witherspoon. The right fielder singled to the shortstop to plate Johnson and give Bowling Green a 1-0 lead.
The Hot Rods put together another two-out rally in the second with Cobi Johnson still on the mound. With two outs, Kevin Santiago was hit by a pitch and Smith walked to bring up Proctor, who doubled to right-center. Both runners scored to extend the Bowling Green lead to 3-0. Reggie Pruitt tripled in the sixth for Lansing against Hot Rods starter Matthew Liberatore and with two outs stole home to make it a 3-1 game.
Bowling Green added an insurance run against Lansing reliever Cre Finfrock in the seventh inning. Proctor walked with two outs and didn't remain on base long. Johnson tripled to right field, plating Proctor from first while giving the Hot Rods a 4-1 edge. Joel Peguero took over in the seventh, earning the save and securing Bowling Green's sweep of the double header along with a series win.
Liberatore (3-0) tossed six innings while allowing one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a win. Peguero locked down his fifth save of the season, throwing one inning while allowing a walk with three strikeouts.
Notes: In game one… Franco homered for the second-straight game… Both were in the first inning… Baz tied his season-high with five innings pitched… He's struck out seven or more batters in three games this season… Game one was the first time Baz has pitched in relief as a pro… Franco extended his hit streak to nine games… He also had his 19th multi-hit game… Johnson has 13 multi-hit games… Whalen had his third multi-hit game… Smith had his eighth multi-hit effort of the season… Proctor had two hits for the sixth time this year… The Hot Rods won their third shutout of the season… In game two… Liberatore hurled a career-high six innings… Johnson had another two-hit game, bringing his season-total to 14… Witherspoon had his 15th multi-hit effort… Bowling Green is 12-8 in games decided by four or more runs… The team is now 16-13 on the road… They're also 11-4-2 in series this season… Sunday was their first double header win of the season… Bowling Green split the first three twin-bills of the season… They also improve to 22-10 when scoring first… The Hot Rods have an off-day on Monday and will be back in action on Tuesday to take on the South Bend Cubs… 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.
Hot Rods Baseball
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