Greenville, South Carolina– The Bowling Green Hot Rods had 15 hits while the pitching staff struck out Greenville Drive batters 14 times in a 9-2 victory on Wednesday night at Fluor Field in Greenville, South Carolina. The Hot Rods and Drive continue their six-game series on Thursday with a doubleheader
Greenville, South Carolina– The Bowling Green Hot Rods had 15 hits while the pitching staff struck out Greenville Drive batters 14 times in a 9-2 victory on Wednesday night at Fluor Field in Greenville, South Carolina. The Hot Rods and Drive continue their six-game series on Thursday with a doubleheader beginning at 4:00 PM CDT, featuring two seven-inning games.
The Hot Rods nearly started the season by batting around the order in the first against Drive starter Jay Groome. Connor Hollis led off with a single to short and stole second with one out. Blake Hunt walked ahead of Ruben Cardenas’ single to right that loaded the bases. Bowling Green took a 1-0 lead after Evan Edwards was hit by a pitch to force home Hollis. With two outs Grant Witherspoon walked to score Hunt and give the Hot Rods a 2-0 edge.
Bowling Green starter Peyton Battenfield allowed two hits in the bottom of the first, but also struck out a pair to get his 2021 season started. In the second, the Hot Rods offense backed Battenfield with even more run support. With one out Hollis and Pedro Martinez singled, with Hollis moving to third on the latter, before scoring on Cardenas’ double to left to make it a 3-0 game. With Hunt at third and Cardenas at second, Edwards singled to center, scoring them both to give Bowling Green a 5-0 lead.
The Hot Rods added another run to their tally in the third against Greenville reliever Rio Gomez. Jonathan Aranda singled to center and went to second when Jordan Qsar singled to right. Hollis singled to right and scored Aranda, extending the BG lead to 6-0.
The Drive got two runs back against Hot Rods reliever Tanner Dodson thanks to the long-ball. Tyler Esplin singled to lead off the sixth and, with one out, Brandon Howlett homered over the wall in left to cut Bowling Green’s lead to 6-2.
After remaining scoreless, the Hot Rods added three emphatic runs in the ninth thanks to some familiar faces. Grant Witherspoon led off the inning with a deep homer to right, giving the Hot Rods a 7-2 edge. Aranda was hit by a pitch, and Qsar hit a big fly to extend Bowling Green’s lead to 9-2. Greenville went down in order in the 9th to secure Bowling Green’s win.
Battenfield tossed 4.0 innings of shutout baseball while allowing two hits and two walks with six strikeouts in a no decision. Dodson worked 1.2 innings while allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Carlos Garcia (1-0) earned the win while contributing 2.0 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball. He also walked one and had three strikeouts. Christopher Gau finished the game with 1.1 innings and three K’s.
Notes: Battenfield tied a career-high with six strikeouts… His four innings of work also tied a career-high… Cardenas had three hits, which ties a career high… Hulsizer struck out four times, tying a career-high… Bowling Green had 15 hits… The pitching staff had 14 strikeouts as a whole… The Hot Rods were struck out 17 times by Greenville pitching… The Hot Rods are now 9-3 as a franchise on opening day… BG is now 7-7 against Greenville all-time… They’re 2-5 on the road in the all-time series… The Hot Rods and Drive will play the second and third games of their series on Thursday with a doubleheader beginning at 4:00 PM CDT… BG will send LH Jacob Lopez to the mound in game one to face RH Brian Van Belle while RH Zack Trageton gets the bump against LH Chris Murphy for game two… 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.