Bowling Green, KY – Sean Bierman hurled six shutout innings, and the Bowling Green Hot Rods (8-2) beat the West Michigan Whitecaps (4-5) 4-2 on Saturday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. Winners of seven straight overall, the Hot Rods have won their first six home games of the 2013 season. Tyler Goeddel and Luke Maile both drove in runs in the bottom of the fifth for the Hot Rods, proving to be the insurance needed in the two-run victory.
After Bierman worked a scoreless first inning, the Hot Rods bats came out swinging in the bottom of the first inning. Bowling Green leadoff man Joey Rickard doubled down the line in right field and scored later in the inning on an Andrew Toles RBI groundout. The Hot Rods offense struck again in the bottom of the fourth inning when Leonardo Reginatto drove home Justin O’Conner after his two-out double.
With Bierman rolling on the mound, Bowling Green added to their 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with two more tallies. After a Marty Gantt walk and a Rickard single, Goeddel brought in Gantt with a single up the middle. After the Hot Rods hit into a double play, Maile singled into left field with two outs to place the Hot Rods in a four-run advantage.
Bierman, who earned his second win in as many starts, hurled six, shutout frames to extend his scoreless innings streak to 11 to begin the 2013 season. The lefty never allowed a West Michigan runner to reach third base. Nick Sawyer relieved Bierman and did not allow a hit in two shutout innings.
The Hot Rods turned to Brandon Henderson to preserve the four-run advantage in the top of the ninth inning. Three West Michigan doubles and two Bowling Green errors brought in two runs in the frame, but Henderson’s strikeout of Austin Schotts with the tying run on first base sealed the Hot Rods
seventh consecutive victory. The winning streak stands just two shy of the franchise record of nine straight wins, which was set by the 2011 Hot Rods from June 8 – June 11.
The opening homestand of the 2013 season comes to an end on Sunday at 2:05 PM when the Hot Rods host the West Michigan Whitecaps (Future Tigers) at 2:05 PM. Hot Rods Manager Jared Sandberg will give the pearl to RHP Taylor Guerrieri (0-0, 0.00), while the Whitecaps will counter with RHP Yorfrank Lopez (1-0, 0.00). Tune in to the Forever Communications Pregame show with Hank Fuerst and Chris Kleinhans-Schulz at 6:35 PM CDT. The broadcast can be found on BGHotRods.com, 1340WBGN.com, and 1340 WBGN-AM.
Sunday features the first Smucker’s Uncrustables Fun Run of the season at Bowling Green Ballpark. All kids in attendance can run the bases for free upon the completion of the Hot Rods-Whitecaps game. To order tickets, call the Hot Rods at (270) 901-2121, visit the Hot Rods Ticket Office at Bowling Green Ballpark, or log on to BGHotRods.com.