BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- Easton McGee struck out eight batters and worked a career-high 7.0 innings, but settled for a no-decision as the Bowling Green Hot Rods fell 3-2 in 10 innings in the series opener against the Burlington Bees. The Hot Rods dropped to 17-14 ahead of Tuesday night’s contest, which will have a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
McGee and Burlington starter John Swanda traded zeroes for the first three innings. However, the Hot Rods broke through in the bottom of the fourth as Grant Witherspoon led off with a single, then advanced to second on an error. After moving to third on a groundout by Roberto Alvarez, Osmy Gregorio lofted a sacrifice fly to right, bringing home Witherspoon to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead.
McGee continued his career night through the middle innings. In both the fifth and sixth innings, he surrendered leadoff singles. However, he ended both innings with back-to-back strikeouts, setting a career high with eight punchouts.
In the seventh, Burlington’s Francisco Del Valle led off with a triple, then scored on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat off Spencer Griffin to tie the game at one apiece. McGee finished the inning, establishing a career high with 7.0 innings pitched.
Bowling Green had opportunities to break the tie late, as Beau Brundage tripled with one out in the seventh, but did not score. An inning later, Ford Proctor led off with a double, but also failed to score.
In the ninth, Burlington put two men on with no one out against Chris Muller, but the Hot Rods turned a 3-2-5-4 double play off an attempted sacrifice bunt to diminish the threat.
In the bottom of the ninth, Chris Betts and Gregorio were retired to begin the inning, but Brundage, Michael Smith, and Wander Franco all drew walks to load the bases. Ford Proctor then lined out to short to send the game to extra innings.
In the tenth, Justin Marsden took over with a runner at second to begin the inning. Harrison Wenson drilled a 1-1 pitch off the left field foul pole for a two-run homer that gave the Bees a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Betts lined an RBI single to left to pull the Hot Rods within one, but Gregorio struck out looking with the tying run on second to end the game.
McGee worked a career-high 7.0 innings in a no decision, allowing a run on four hits while striking out a career-best eight hitters. Muller worked 2.0 innings, allowing two hits and two walks, but he kept Burlington off the board thanks to two double plays. Justin Marsden (1-1) struck out three in one inning of work, but allowed the deciding two-run home run in taking the loss.