Bowling Green, Ky. (WBKO) --- The Bowling Green Bootleggers and Beloit Snappers engaged in another high-scoring battle, but Beloit emerged victorious, 13-9 on Thursday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. Bowling Green falls to 53-37, 14-6 in the second half, and will look to avoid the sweep on Friday night, with a 6:35 first pitch.
Beloit struck right away in the first inning against Matthew Liberatore. The left-hander allowed three straight hits to begin the ballgame, with John Jones driving in the first run of the contest with a single to center, giving the Snappers a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, though, the Bootleggers got the run right back against Beloit starter Richard Guasch. Grant Witherspoon led off with a double to right, then came around when Osmy Gregorio lined the first pitch he saw down the right-field line, tying the game at one apiece while also extending his hitting streak to 12 games.
In the second, though, Beloit mounted a two-out rally. Skyler Weber drew a walk, then scored when Nick Ward launched a two-run homer off the right-field scoreboard, giving Beloit a 3-1 lead.
Once again, the Bootleggers had an answer as Jordan Qsar led off with a single off Guasch, then scored on a double by Jonathan Aranda. Following two walks, Witherspoon lined a two-run single to give Bowling Green the lead. Three batters later, Roberto Alvarez singled with the bases loaded to add two more runs. After a pitching change, Jiamito Lebron uncorked a wild pitch to bring home Chris Betts, making the score 7-3, Bowling Green.
However, Beloit rallied back against Liberatore in the fourth. After the first three batters of the inning singled to bring in a run, Ward lined a two-run triple to right-center, cutting the lead to one run. Jones followed with a groundout to tie the game once again, this time at 7-7.
As they had earlier in the evening, the Bootleggers had another answer in the fourth against Lebron. Gregorio drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a single by Betts. Connor Hollis followed with a sacrifice fly to score Gregorio and regain the lead.
Liberatore gave way to Nathan Witt who threw a scoreless fifth and retired the first to hitters in the sixth. However, he allowed a pair of singles, which was followed by a two-run double by Logan Farrer to put Beloit back in front.
From there, Beloit tacked on more runs against Joel Peguero, scoring twice in the seventh and twice in the eighth. Tony Pena lined his first home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth inning off Rafael Kelly, but it was too little, too late as the Bootleggers came up short in a 13-9 defeat.
Liberatore went 4.0 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits, while walking one and striking out eight in a no-decision. Witt (1-3) threw 2.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one strikeout, taking the loss. Peguero went 2.0 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with two strikeouts. Nick Padilla worked a scoreless ninth inning, working around a hit and walk while striking out two.
Notes: Pena homered for the first time since August 17, 2018 against Johnson City (with Princeton)…Witherspoon recorded his 21st multi-hit game and 11th multi-RBI contest…Betts recorded his 15th multi-hit night…Aranda had multiple hits for the third time…His three RBI tie a career-high…Gregorio extended his hitting streak to 12 games…He had his 16th multi-hit game and seventh during his streak…Alvarez recorded his sixth multi-RBI game… Liberatore allowed a career-high seven runs and ten hits…He also allowed the first home run of his professional career, after going 86.2 innings without allowing one…BG allowed 13 runs for the third time this season…The 20 hits allowed by Bowling Green are a season-high and their most since August 20, 2017…The Hot Rods are 30-16 at home…They're 43-26 against right-handed starters in 2019…BG fellThe Hot Rods will finish the three-game series against Beloit on Friday night, with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch…RHP Shane Baz (3-1, 3.38) will start for Bowling Green, while the Beloit counters with RHP Reid Birlingmair (2-5, 5.12)…Friday will be Unicorn Night, with the first 250 kids receiving a unicorn horn…It will also be a Norton’s Children’s Hospital Fireworks Friday…Fans can catch all the action with Shawn Murnin on Willie 107.9 FM, as well as, with their smart phones via the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn Radio app.