Bowling Green, KY - Victor Mateo wrote his name into the Hot Rods record books on Friday night, throwing the first no-hitter in team history to beat the Lake County Captains (6-9, 34-50), 1-0. Mateo's gem completed a doubleheader sweep of the Captains after Bowling Green took the opener, 5-1.
Mateo's no-no began dubiously as the Dominican right-hander issued a lead-off walk. He was undeterred, however, striking out the next three batters. Those three strikeouts started Mateo on a dream run as he worked perfect innings from the second through the fifth, recording nine strikeouts without letting a ball leave the infield.
In the sixth, the Captains made Mateo and nearly 4,000 fans sweat. With two down, LeVon Washington drew his second walk against Mateo, snapping a streak of 17 straight batters retired. Washington stole his way to third base before Carlos Moncrief drew another walk to put runners at the corners. With the possibility of a tie game staring him in the face, Mateo calmly induced a ground ball to end the frame and send the game to the seventh.
The final inning saw Mateo strike out his tenth batter, drowning his previous career high of seven K's set back on April 25. After Giovanny Urshela flew out to deep left field, Jordan Casas lined out to Mateo, creating the perfect ending to Mateo's effort.
All told, he struck out ten and issued three walks, facing three batters above the minimum in the seven inning contest. Only one runner made it past first base while only two balls left the infield.
The offense for game two came in the bottom of the second inning. Kevin Kiermaier walked with one out, stealing second before going to third on an error. After a walk to Keith Castillo, Hector Guevara singled to left field to plate Kiermaier for a 1-0 lead.
In game one, the Hot Rods broke open a tie game with a four-run sixth inning. Derek Dietrich, Phil Wunderlich, and Nick Schwaner all reached to load the bases to begin the inning. Steve TInoco pushed across the first two runs with a single to right field to make it 3-1. Robby Price followed with a single to plate one more against Joey Mahalic to push the lead to 4-1.
Mahalic left the game after Price's hit, giving way to Dale Dickerson. With one out, Alejandro Torres drove home one more on a booted ground ball for a 5-1 lead.
The four-run frame earned Nate Garcia (2-0) his second victory of the season. The righty pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a pair of hits. He came on in relief of C.J. Riefenhauser, who started the game and allowed one run over five innings of work.
Tinoco led the offense in game one, finishing with a single, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and two RBI. Schwaner was also on base three times with a double, a single, a walk, and two runs scored.
The Hot Rods now hit the road for the start of a ten-day, nine-game road trip beginning Saturday night in West Michigan. RHP George Jensen (8-2, 4.83) takes the ball against West Michigan LHP Alex Burgos (3-1, 1.71). First pitch is at 6 PM CDT. You can follow the game with Tom Gauthier at 5:35 PM on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
Hot Rods Playoff Strips are on sale now. Bowling Green will host Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) of the first round playoff series on September 8 and 9 at Bowling Green Ballpark. 2011 Playoff Ticket Strips include a box seat to all six potential home playoff games and a limited edition Hot Rods Playoff T-Shirt for just $60. For more information, visit www.bghotrods.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.