Vettleson paces Hot Rods with four hits

Rays 2010 first-rounder is 12-for-25 over his last seven games

(Tony Farlow/

By John Parker / Special to | April 24, 2012 1:26 PM ET

Outfielder Drew Vettleson went 4-for-4 with a solo homer and a pair of doubles as Bowling Green finished off a 6-3 homestand with a 3-2 win over Quad Cities on Tuesday afternoon.

A first-round (compensation phase) pick in the 2010 Draft, Vettleson entered the 2012 season as Tampa Bay's No. 8 prospect. A switch-pitcher in the vein of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Pat Venditte in high school, Vettleson the outfielder is a left-handed hitter and owns a .333/.397/.500 line in 19 Midwest League games. He's batting .480 (12-for-25) over his last seven games.

The Washington state native twice collected four hits in a game last year for Princeton in the Appalachian League but had never before approached the cycle so closely.

Batting second in the Hot Rods lineup, Vettleson gave the Rays affiliate an early lead with a first-inning blast to center field, his second of the season. The 20-year-old doubled to open the third and later scored on a Jeff Malm double to give the Rods a 2-0 lead.

Vettleson tacked on a single in the fourth and another double with two outs in the sixth.

Vettleson, Malm (who doubled twice and singled) and shortstop Juniel Querecuto, who tripled, doubled and scored Bowling Green's third run, accounted for nine of the Hot Rods' 11 hits. The team ranks second in the 16-team Midwest League with a .273 combined average.

Vettleson was the third of the Rays' first-round selections in the 2010 Draft but outplayed Josh Sale and Justin O'Connor in Princeton last season and was the only one of the three promoted to full-season ball at the start of the 2012 season.

Bowling Green starter Ryan Carpenter (3-1) allowed one run on five hits over six frames for his third straight victory. He struck out three and walked two.

Fellow southpaw Jacob Partridge, who was primarily a starter in his previous three Minor League seasons, recorded his first career save after yielding one run on a pair of hits over the final three innings.

Both River Bandits runs came on solo homers. Second baseman Luis Mateo hit his first of the year off Carpenter in the sixth and Colin Walsh crushed a no-doubter, his fifth of the season, off Partridge in the ninth.

Starter Hector Hernandez fell to 1-1 for Quad Cities, allowing three runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out five.

Despite the loss, Quad Cities owns a half-game lead over Wisconsin for the Western Division lead. Vettleson and the Hot Rods trail first-place Lansing by one game in the East.

John Parker is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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