Bowling Green, Ky. (WBKO) --- Chris Betts and Grant Witherspoon homered and three players posted three-hit nights to pace a 16-hit attack as the Bowling Green Hot Rods won their season-high fourth-straight game, defeating the Dayton Dragons 10-4 on Saturday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. The Hot Rods improved to 29-20 ahead of Sunday night’s contest, which will have a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
The Hot Rods struck in the first against Dayton starter Jhon De Jesus. Wander Franco hit a one-out single, then advanced on a wild pitch and a lineout. Betts then unloaded on the first pitch he saw against De Jesus and deposited it high off the right-field scoreboard for a two-run home run, his eighth of the season to give the Hot Rods a 2-0 lead.
Dayton responded right away in the second against BG starter Easton McGee, as Jay Schuyler led off with a single and advanced to second on an error. Pabel Manzanero followed with an RBI single up the middle, plating Schuyler for Dayton’s first run. After both runners advanced on a groundout, McGee picked up a strikeout. Reniel Ozuna followed with a ground ball to third. Osmy Gregorio tagged out Manzanero near third base to end the inning, but not before Juan Martinez scored from third to tie the game at two apiece.
Bowling Green promptly regained the lead in the bottom of the inning against De Jesus. Gregorio singled with one out then moved to third on a Beau Brundage hit. Michael Smith followed with a ground ball to second that was muffed for an error, bringing home Gregorio for a 3-2 lead. Dayton responded in the next half inning as Michael Siani led off the third with a double to right, then scored two batters later on an RBI single by Brian Rey, making the score 3-3.
Bowling Green began pulling away against De Jesus in the fourth. Tony Pena and Gregorio opened the inning with singles, then Smith singled to left, loading the bases with one out. Franco broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to center to score Pena, while also advancing Gregorio and Smith into scoring position. Ford Proctor followed with a two-run single, moving into second on the throw home. De Jesus then unleashed two wild pitches, scoring Proctor to make it 7-3, Bowling Green.
Dayton fought back in the fifth as Siani tripled off McGee with two out, then scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 7-4. After Chris Muller took over in the sixth, Dayton loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. Muller successfully slammed the door, though, recording a strikeout and groundout to extinguish the threat.
The Hot Rods added on in the seventh inning as Witherspoon launched a solo homer to right, his fourth of the season. Seaver Whalen followed with a double, then scored two batters later on Gregorio’s third hit of the night, an RBI single that made the score 9-4. Bowling Green made it an even 10 runs in the eighth as Whalen doubled home Proctor, making it 10-4. Cristofer Ogando finished off the Dragons with a pair of scoreless innings to polish off Bowling Green’s fourth-straight win.
McGee (4-0) went 5.0 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits, while walking one and striking out three in earning the win. Muller worked 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk, while striking out two in earning his first hold of the season. Ogando finished off the game, going 2.0 shutout innings while allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out four.
Notes: Pena extended his hitting streak to nine games…Witherspoon collected his 13th multi-hit game this season…Franco tied his season-high (for the third time) with three hits and collected his team-high 14th multi-hit game…Proctor extended his hitting streak to seven games with his 12th multi-hit contest…Proctor also tied his season-high (for the third time) with three hits…Brundage extended his hitting streak to six games…Whalen had a multi-hit game in his Hot Rods debut, his second overall this season…Gregorio extended his hitting streak to five games…He tied a season-high with three hits (for the third time)…It was his eighth multi-hit game of the season and third in a row…McGee has won five-straight decisions dating back to last season…Bowling Green starting pitchers have won six-straight decisions and have made 15-consecutive starts (since May 12) without taking a loss…Bowling Green scored 10 or more runs for the league-high sixth time this season…The Hot Rods set a season-high with their fourth-consecutive win…Bowling Green is 19-8 in games they score first…The Hot Rods are 14-2 when collecting double-digit hits… BG is 23-6 when out-hitting their opponents…Bowling Green is 15-8 at home…BG is 24-12 against right-handed starters…The Hot Rods will play the third game of the four-game series against Dayton on Sunday night with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch…RHP Shane Baz (0-0, 2.40) will start for the Hot Rods, against Dragons RHP James Marinan (2-5, 5.44)…Sunday is Princess and Pirates Night, with the first 100 pirates receiving a sword upon entry and the first 100 princesses receiving a tiara…There will also be postgame fireworks presented by Norton Children’s Hospital…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.