O’Conner Sparks Comeback in Tough One-Run Loss

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

Bowling Green, KY – The Bowling Green Hot Rods (29-20) fell to the Fort Wayne TinCaps (26-22) 6-5 on Sunday afternoon at Bowling Green Ballpark. Justin O’Conner hit his first home run of the season for the Hot Rods, and Taylor Guerrieri received a no decision in a quality start. Maxx Tissenbaum’s two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning gave the TinCaps the late lead, ending the Hot Rods two-game winning streak.

The TinCaps used a three-run home run from Gabriel Quintana in the top of the first inning to immediately jump out to a 3-0 lead off Guerrieri. The three-run shot marked the fifth straight game that the Hot Rods have allowed a run in the first inning. In the bottom of the first, the Hot Rods got one run right back when Joey Rickard scored Andrew Toles, who had just tripled, on a 5-3 groundout.

With Fort Wayne leading 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, the Hot Rods offense finally was able to break through for a big rally against TinCap starter Joe Ross. Rickard doubled to begin the inning and was driven home by Tommy Coyle on an RBI single. Two batters later with Coyle on second, O’Conner connected for a two-run home run out to deep left centerfield. It was O’Conner’s first home run of the season for the Hot Rods, tying the score 4-4.

The Hot Rods took their first and only lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Tyler Goeddel hustled to beat out a potential inning-ending double play to score Toles. The Hot Rods lead was short-lived, however. In the top of the eighth inning, Hot Rods reliever Jose Molina allowed a two-run home run to Maxx Tissenbaum over the right field fence.

Guerrieri, the 24th overall pick in the 2011 draft, retired 15 straight TinCap hitters following the Quintana home run and finished with his second straight quality start. The righty tied his career-high in innings pitched with six and struck out five. The Hot Rods are now 5-3 in Guerrieri starts this season.

The rubber match of this three-game series will take place on Memorial Day Monday at 2:05 PM CDT at Bowling Green Ballpark. The Hot Rods will send RHP Jeff Ames (5-0, 2.13) to the mound opposite of Fort Wayne’s LHP Max Fried (2-1, 2.95). Tune in to the game on 1340 "The Ticket” WBGN-AM and online at 1340WBGN.com with Chris Kleinhans-Schulz starting the Forever Communications Pregame Show at 1:35 PM CDT.

Spend Memorial Day with the Hot Rods in beautiful downtown Bowling Green. For more information and to secure your tickets, call the Hot Rods at (270) 901-2121 or visit BGHotRods.com.

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