(Bowling Green, KY) – Starting pitcher Frank De Los Santos threw his best start in June, allowing only one earned run over six innings of work on Friday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. However, some key errors by the Hot Rods and timely hitting by Asheville left the Hot Rods on the wrong end of a 5-3 decision in the opener of a three-game series. The loss drops the Hot Rods to 32-36, guaranteeing a sub-.500 record in the first half of the 2009 season.
Asheville took advantage of two early errors by Bowling Green in the second inning. David Christensen and Tyler Massey both reached on miscues by 3B Jeremy Beckham and SS Tim Beckham, respectively. After a sacrifice bunt and a foul out, De Los Santos allowed surrendered a two-run single to center field by Beau Seabury to break the scoreless tie.
The Hot Rods took their only lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Justin Reynolds hit a one-out single to right field and then advanced to second base when Jeremy Beckham was hit by a pitch. After Tim Beckham flew out to shallow right, Jake Jefferies hit a laser into the right-center field gap, scoring Reynolds and Jeremy Beckham for a two-run double to tie the game. Jefferies scored himself when Kyeong Kang drove a triple to center field giving the Hot Rods a 3-2 lead.
That lead was short-lived as De Los Santos allowed a run in the top of the fourth. Peisel led off with an infield single and then moved to second base on a ground out by Martinez. De Los Santos would strike out Seabury before allowing Andrew Goff to hit a double to right field, scoring Peisel to tie the game at 3-3.
De Los Santos wouldn’t allow anything else as he finished six innings for the first time since May 23. He was charged with three runs but only one was earned. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter for the second time this season.
Asheville scored the decisive runs in the seventh, after De Los Santos left, against Marquis Fleming (L, 1-3). Seabury reached on the second of three errors by Jeremy Beckham. He advanced to second on a walk to Andy Goff before Fleming balked both runners to second and third. Scott Robinson then produced his league-leading 80th hit of the season to give the Tourists a 4-3 lead. Two batters later Robinson stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Jake Jefferies. That error allowed another run to score as Goff trotted home for the fifth and final Tourists’ run.
Bowling Green tried to tie it in the ninth, loading the bases on three singles and a force out against closer Adam Jorgensen. Jorgensen would get the final two outs, striking out John Mollicone and Jason Tweedy to seal the victory for Frazier.
The series continues on Saturday night at Bowling Green Ballpark with game two featuring Hot Rods RHP Joe Cruz (2-3, 3.22) against Asheville RHP Juan Nicasio (1-1, 2.45). First pitch is 7:05 PM CDT.