Greenville, South Carolina– Erik Ostberg homered twice with a grand slam and had four hits with seven RBIs while Jordan Qsar homered as part of a three-hit, six RBI day to lift the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a doubleheader sweep of the Greenville Drive on Thursday night at Fluor
Greenville, South Carolina– Erik Ostberg homered twice with a grand slam and had four hits with seven RBIs while Jordan Qsar homered as part of a three-hit, six RBI day to lift the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a doubleheader sweep of the Greenville Drive on Thursday night at Fluor Field in Greenville, South Carolina. The Hot Rods and Drive will play the fourth game of the series on Friday with a 6:05 PM CDT first pitch.
The Hot Rods jumped out to an early lead in the second against Drive starter Brian Van Belle with a pair of long balls. With two outs, Jonathan Aranda singled to right but didn’t stay on the base paths long. Qsar blasted his second homer of the season in as many games over the 30-foot left field wall to give the Hot Rods a 2-0 lead. Ostberg followed Qsar to the plate and with two strikes hit a homer of his own, also to the opposite field, to extend the BG lead to 3-0.
Bowling Green starter Jacob Lopez ran into some trouble in the bottom of the second that brought the Drive within a run. A leadoff walk to Tyreque Reed was followed by a one-out homer off the bat of Devlin Granberg to make it a 3-2 game with the Hot Rods still on top.
Greenville took the lead after sending seven hitters to the plate in the bottom of the third against Lopez and Hot Rods reliever Miller Hogan. With one out, Cam Cannon and Danny Santana went back-to-back to take the lead and make it a 4-3 game. Tyler Esplin was hit by a pitch and went to third on a single to right by Reed. Lopez struck out Brandon Howlett for the second out of the frame and gave way to Hogan out of the bullpen. The righty faced Granberg to start off his outing, and Granberg doubled off the wall in left that scored Esplin, but Reed was thrown out after overrunning the bag at third thanks to a good relay throw from Hot Rods shortstop Pedro Martinez to close out the inning. The Hot Rods trailed 5-3 after the action.
BG roared back in the final inning of the game to take the lead for the final time. Greenville reliever Alex Sherff took the mound and walked Ruben Cardenas, Aranda, and Qsar to start off the frame. Ostberg went deep for the second time, launching a grand slam over the right-field wall to give the Hot Rods a 7-5 advantage. Ezequiel Zabaleta worked a scoreless bottom of the seventh to lock in the Hot Rods win.
Lopez allowed five runs (all earned) on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts in a no decision. Miller Hogan worked a scoreless 2.1 innings, allowing two this and walk with two strikeouts. Zabaleta (1-0) earned a win after throwing 2.0 scoreless innings while holding the Drive to two hits with four strikeouts.
In game two the Hot Rods offense got on the board in the first against Greenville starter Yusniel Padron-Artilles. Connor Hollis led off the game with an infield single and went to third on Cardenas’ double off the left-field wall. Qsar grounded out to short, but Hollis scored and Cardenas moved to third to make it a 1-0 ballgame. Cardenas scored when Ostberg singled to right, giving BG a 2-0 advantage.
The Hot Rods extended their lead in the third with Padron-Artilles still on the mound. Aranda led off with a single to right and Cardenas singled to left. Qsar struck again, doubling to deep center field, extending the lead to 4-0.
The offense never took their foot off the gas and five more runs were plated in the fifth. After Qsar doubled home Aranda to make it a 5-0 game, Jacson McGowan took advantage of having the bases loaded in his first start for BG, blasting the team’s second grand slam of the day to left. The slam gave Bowling Green a 9-0 lead.
Qsar reached on an error in the sixth that plated Aranda again and Ostberg doubled home Qsar on the first pitch of his at-bat to give the Hot Rods an 11-0 edge. The final blow to Greenville came in the top of the seventh when Hollis doubled to right with the bases loaded, clearing every station to give the Hot Rods a convincing 14-0 win in game two of the twin bill.
Zack Trageton ended up with a no-decision after 3.1 scoreless innings of work, holding the Drive to just one hit with two walks and four punch-outs. Evan McKendry (1-0) earned the win, tossing 3.2 innings to secure the shutout while also giving up one hit with five strikeouts.
Notes: Aranda tied a career-high with four hits in game two for the third time… The last time he had four hits in a game is also the last time a Hot Rods hitter on August 22, 2019 at Lake County… McGowan tied a career-high in RBIs with four… All of those came on his grand slam… Ostberg set a career-high in RBIs with five… He also set a career-high for homers in a game with two… Lopez’s 2.2 innings of work was the shortest start of his career… Cardenas and Aranda tied career-highs for runs scored in a game with three each… The last time a Hot Rods hitter took a grand slam was Chris Betts on July 6, 2019… Qsar and Ostberg went back-to-back in the second inning of game one… It was the first time BG hitters went back-to-back since August 22, 2018 when Ronaldo Hernandez and Trey Hair accomplished the feat… Bowling Green scored 10+ runs for the first time since August 22, 2019 in a 16-4 win over Lake County… The Hot Rods and Drive will play the fourth game of the series at 6:05 PM CDT on Friday… BG will send RH Jayden Murray to the mound to face LH Chris Murphy… Fans can catch all of the action through the MiLB First Pitch app, tuning into WBGN 94.5 FM and 1340 AM, or visiting https://www.milb.com/bowling-green/fans/audio-listen-live.
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