Lopez, Pen Hurl Hot Rods to Victory

By: Hank Fuerst - Hot Rods Media Relations
By: Hank Fuerst - Hot Rods Media Relations

Comstock Park, MI – Reinaldo Lopez surrendered just one run in six innings to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods (6-4, 44-34) to a 3-1 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (5-5, 38-42) on Saturday night at Fifth Third Ballpark. Leonardo Reginatto recorded a three-hit night, and Ryan Garton locked down the final four outs to notch his fifth save of the season. The Hot Rods are now 10-2 on the road in the month of June.

The Bowling Green offense was thriving early in Saturday’s contest. With two outs and Leonardo Reginatto at second base in the first inning, Luke Maile popped a 3-2 pitch from Chad Smith into shallow left field for a bloop RBI base-hit. The next pitch, Justin O’Conner smashed a double off the wall in left field to score Maile from first base to make it 2-0 Bowling Green.

After West Michigan acquired one run back in the second, the Hot Rods scored their third run of the night in the top of the fourth. With Joey Rickard at first base after a two-out walk, Ryan Dunn lifted a routine fly ball to right field that looked to end the inning. However, Whitecap centerfielder Connor Harrell nearly collided with his right fielder, Jake Stewart, and the ball fell to the ground, allowing Rickard to score from first base.

The game remained 3-1 for the remainder of the night, but the Hot Rods had to work out of some trouble in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Nick Sawyer walked two straight Whitecap hitters. Garton walked the first batter that he faced to load the bases but struck out Jason King to escape the jam. The righty then worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to preserve the win for the Hot Rods. Lopez earned the win, his second in the starter’s role this season.

The middle game of the three-game series will take place Sunday at 12:00 PM CDT in Comstock Park, Michigan, as the Hot Rods continue their six-game road trip. The Hot Rods will send RHP Jeff Ames (6-1, 2.24) to the mound on Sunday, while the Whitecaps will counter with RHP Charlie Gillies (0-3,
3.26). The Forever Communications Pregame Show begins at 11:30 AM CDT on the Hot Rods Radio Network (1340 “The Ticket” WBGN-AM and 1340WBGN.com).

The Hot Rods will return home for a two-game homestand on July 2 and 3 at Bowling Green Ballpark with the Dayton Dragons. Citizens First is sponsoring Kids Get In Free Day in the opener. The finale will feature Bowling Green’s All-You-Can-East Wednesday promotion and July 3 Fireworks courtesy of IGA. For more information and to secure your tickets, call the Hot Rods Ticket Office at (270) 901-2121 or head online to BGHotRods.com.

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