Bowling Green, Ky. – The 2014 season officially came to a close on Monday afternoon as the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) dropped the finale, 4-0. The Hot Rods finished the campaign with a 61-77 overall record, but they had to overcome numerous mid-season promotions and injuries, and they still managed to be in the playoff race until the final day of the regular season.
Ben Griset turned in a fine performance as the starter for Bowling Green on Monday afternoon, as he worked five innings and allowed just two hits. Only two balls reached the outfield against Griset, and he tied a career-high by striking out seven opposing batters.
The TinCaps put up all the offense they would need in the top of the seventh. Jake Bauers drew a lead-off walk, and moved to second when John Nester singled. Nick Schulz struck out to put the rally on the shoulders of Josh VanMeter, and he came through in the clutch by clubbing a two-out home run to give Fort Wayne the 3-0 advantage.
Another run crossed for Fort Wayne in the top of the ninth, as VanMeter drove in another run with a hit to score Nester. It gave the game its final margin of 4-0 in favor of the TinCaps, and clinched the final playoff spot for Fort Wayne in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
Several players finished the season with the Hot Rods who were members of the Opening Night roster. Kean Wong completed his inaugural full-season campaign with a batting average of .306, and he was named to both the Mid-Season and Postseason All-Star teams for the Midwest League.
Like Wong, Oscar Hernandez was also on the first roster for Bowling Green, and he led the club in runs batted in with 63. Willy Adames excited fans for the short time he was a Hot Rod after being acquired by the Rays from the Detroit Tigers in the David Price trade. The list of Hot Rods alumni playing in Major League Baseball continues to grow. That number is likely to increase yet again throughout the 2015 season.
The Hot Rods would like to thank everyone for a tremendous 2014 campaign, as yet again the support from the community was tremendous. While the off-season is now upon us, Bowling Green Ballpark will play host to numerous events for the South-Central Kentucky area. It’s never too early to look forward to the 2015 campaign as well. For more information on the club and Bowling Green Ballpark, fans can logon to BGHotRods.com, call 270-901-2121, or visit the BG Ballpark box office.