Cedar Rapids, IA - The Bowling Green Hot Rods (16-9, 54-39) avoided the sweep in a 6-5 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels (16-8, 56-36) on Monday afternoon. Tyler Goeddel hit a go-ahead home run and made a few tough catches at third base to help preserve the lead. Matt Spann provided four innings of relief to garner his third win and the first-ever Hot Rods win at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Bowling Green and Cedar Rapids were evenly matched in the first five innings. Kernels pitcher Jose Berrios held the Hot Rods until Justin O'Conner drove in Tommy Coyle with a fourth-inning single for a 1-0 Bowling Green lead. Taylor Guerrieri recorded two shutouts innings for Bowling Green to tie Jeff Ames for a franchise-record 24 consecutive scoreless innings. Spann replaced Guerrieri in the third inning and only allowed a game-tying home run to Adam Brett Walker that tied the game in the fourth.
Goeddel's blast kicked off a big rally in the sixth. Joey Rickard led off the frame with a walk before Goeddel lifted a two-run blast to left field to create a 3-1 edge. Later in the inning, Patrick Leonard and Ryan Dunn collected bases-loaded singles that added to the lead. Bowling Green added another run off O'Conner's bat in the seventh inning for a game-high five-run advantage.
Cedar Rapids dialed long distance to start trimming the deficit. Max Kepler and Travis Harrison hit back-to-back solo home runs off Austin Pruitt to open the bottom of the seventh. Pruitt, pitching in his Hot Rods debut, settled down and started a 1-6-3 double play for the first two outs. J.D. Williams followed with a line drive to third base that Goeddel caught leaning to his left side.
Trailing 6-3 in the eighth inning, the Kernels went deep again to come within a run. Goeddel caught another line drive to open the inning, but Dalton Hicks answered with a double and scored when Walker hit his second home run of the game. The two-run blast cut Bowling Green's lead to 6-5.
The Hot Rods got through a tough start in the ninth inning to close the series on a win. Marcus Jensen inherited the potential tying and winning runs after early-inning walks. Jensen recorded a strikeout on Williams and induced a game-ending fly out from Jorge Polanco to wrap up the victory.