(Asheville, NC) – Hot Rods starting pitcher Matt Moore picked his team up after a 6-1 loss in game one of their doubleheader in Asheville on Thursday night, throwing five innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 game two victory. The left-hander struck out nine while giving up just one hit as Bowling Green (21-17, 55-53) earned a split of the doubleheader with first-place Asheville. The split leaves the Hot Rods where the started the day, three games back in third place in the Southern Division second-half standings.
The Hot Rods opened the scoring in the third inning of game two after both pitchers retired the first six men they faced. Against Alan DeRatt, Tyler Hauschild singled off the right field wall with one out, extending his hitting streak to a career-high six games. Hauschild then made an important base running play, going first-to-third on a single to center by Robi Estrada. With one out and runners at the corners, Anthony Scelfo struck out before Tim Beckham snapped an 0-for-10 stretch with a sharp single to center to give the Hot Rods their first lead of the series at 1-0.
Asheville tied it at 1-1 against Matt Moore in the fifth inning, as Moore surrendered a lead-off double to Tyler Massey. Massey took third on a sacrifice bunt before Patrick Rose struck out for the second out of the frame. Just when it looked like Moore would get out of the inning unscathed, he bounced a 1-2 curve ball to Scott Robinson that allowed Massey to score from third and tie the game at 1-1.
The Hot Rods bailed Moore out in the top of the sixth, however, as Beckham delivered his second hit of the game to center field. The single was originally called a catch by Robinson but was overturned after the umpires met and ruled it a trap. That turned out to be big as Beckham advanced to second on a wild pick-off throw, took third on a single to left by Kyeong Kang, and then scored as Isaias Velasquez delivered a sacrifice fly to left for the go-ahead run.
The go-ahead RBI from Velasquez put Moore back in line for the victory after the lefty pitched five solid innings. He allowed just the one run on one hit, striking out nine batters and walking just three. In two outings against Asheville, both at McCormick Field, Moore has thrown 12 innings and allowed just one run on one hit. He has also picked up 21 strikeouts against five walks against would-be Tourists hitters.
DeRatt, meanwhile, lasted four innings allowing just the one run, eventually earning a no-decision. He surrendered three hits, all in the third, while setting down all nine batters he faced between the first, second, and fourth innings.
After Moore left, Neil Schenk pitched a scoreless sixth inning before turning it over to Josh Satow in the seventh. Satow allowed a one-out single but recorded the final two out to pick up his 15th save of 2009.
In the first game, Asheville took the lead first with a two-out, two-run second inning against Nick Barnese (5-5). Jimmy Cesario led-off with a double to right-center. After a strikeout, Thomas Field took first on a walk before Tyler Massey was retired on an infield fly for the second out. That’s when trouble started as Carlos Martinez had an infield single to load the bases followed by a single to right by Scott Robinson to plate two runs. One of those runs, however, was unearned as Jason Corder had trouble fielding the ball cleanly to allow the second run to score for the 2-0 lead.
Asheville returned the favor with an error of their own in the top of the fifth. With two outs, John Mollicone doubled to the gap in left-center field for his first hit in his last four games. Jeremy Beckham followed with a single to right field that advanced Mollicone to third. On the play, right fielder David Christensen threw the ball over the catcher and to the backstop, allowing Mollicone to score while Jeremy Beckham went to second on the error.
That was all Bowling Green was able to muster against Parker Frazier (9-7). The Oklahoma native allowed just five hits over six innings, giving up just the unearned run. He struck out five and walked two, improving to 2-0 in two starts against Bowling Green.
Barnese took the tough-luck loss for the Hot Rods, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits. Four of those hits, however, were infield singles while a fifth hit was a soft lined single that fell into left field in the fifth inning.
That fifth inning single knocked Barnese from the game and gave the Tourists a 3-1 lead. He gave way to Marquis Fleming, who stranded two runners in the second before giving up three insurance runs to the Tourists in the bottom of the sixth.
The series now comes to an end on Friday night at McCormick Field as RHP Chris Andujar (9-2, 2,92) faces Asheville RHP Juan Nicasio (6-1, 1,88). First pitch is at 6:05 PM CDT.