(Bowling Green, KY) – On the night when the Hot Rods’ manager and coaches got their American League Championship rings from the Tampa Bay Rays, Bowling Green's baseball team overcame a shaky start to beat West Virginia 11-4 on Wednesday night. Facing a 4-0 deficit in the bottom of the third inning, the Hot Rods (6-8) began a rally that would end a season-long four-game losing streak, evening up their series with the Power (4-10) at one game apiece.
Things didn’t look good for the Hot Rods to begin the game. West Virginia lead-off hitter Robbie Grossman reached on an error to start the first. He would score on a two-run homer off the bat of Bobby Spain two batters later to give the Power a 2-0 lead. They would add two more runs in the third inning, courtesy of three hits and two more Bowling Green errors. After the second miscue, starting pitcher Shane Dyer would take matters into his own hands, getting the final two outs of that inning and eventually retiring the final eight men he would face.
As Dyer settled down, the Hot Rods began their scoring in the third with an RBI single from Jake Jefferies. Henry Wrigley led off the fourth with his first home run of the season before Justin Reynolds doubled in Mike McCormick to cut the deficit to one run. In the fifth, another RBI from Jefferies, this time on a ground out, would tie the game at 4-4. That’s when the Hot Rods would pull away.
In the sixth, Tyree Hayes (1-2) came on to pitch, throwing the first of his two perfect innings. In the bottom of that frame, Jason Tweedy and Reynolds would reach with one out before Robi Estrada drove them both in with a 2-run single, giving the Hot Rods a 6-4 lead. Anthony Scelfo continue the scoring, doubling home Estrada with the second of his three hits and the first of his three RBI’s on the night. One inning later, a two-run triple by Scelfo capped off the scoring, making it 11-4 in favor of Bowling Green.
Despite a shaky start, Hot Rods pitchers ended the game in history making fashion. Dyer, Hayes, and Jamie Bagley retired the final 20 batters they faced, working the final 6.2 innings without allowing a base runner. Hayes earned his first victory of the season, recording a season-high 4 strikeouts. Bagley worked two scoreless frames, extending his scoreless streak to five games and eight total innings, all while allowing just one hit.
Game three of the series will take place Thursday night beginning at 6:35 PM.