Lansing, MI – In his first Midwest League action since April, former Western Kentucky University standout Kes Carter hit his first professional home run to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods (20-12, 58-44) to a 6-3 win over the Lansing Lugnuts (19-13, 66-35) on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium. Starter Parker Markel hurled 6.1 scoreless innings to earn his sixth win, and Drew Vettleson also added three hits. The victory gives the Hot Rods a series win and their fourth straight win over the Blue Jays Class A Affiliates.
Thanks to singles by Ryan Brett and Vettleson, the Hot Rods jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The duo singled to begin the game against Lansing starter Noah Syndergaard, setting up an RBI-fielder’s choice groundout by Jake Hager to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead.
Bowling Green added two more runs to their advantage in the top of the third inning, taking advantage of Syndergaard’s wildness. The 19-year-old righty and 2010 first round pick walked the first two of the inning, allowing Tyler Goeddel to then reach on a bunt single. With one out, Vettleson singled to centerfield to plate a run. The next batter was Hager, who drove in his second run of the game on another RBI-fielder’s choice groundout.
With Markel rolling, the Hot Rods added two more runs with two outs in the top of the sixth. After a Matt Rice walk, his college teammate Kes Carter homered on an 0-2, two out pitch from Lansing reliever Shawn Griffith. Carter’s first professional home run gave the Hot Rods a 5-0 advantage. The 2011 supplemental first round pick was activated from the Disabled List prior to Thursday’s game.
Rice later added an RBI-double to give the Hot Rods a six-run advantage. The offensive outburst was plenty for Markel, who allowed just two singles in his impressive 6.1 frames. The righty, who has now won back-to-back starts, never allowed a Lansing player to reach third base. With the Hot Rods holding a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Justin Woodall hurled a scoreless inning to earn his third save of the season.