BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- Easton McGee struck out seven over 6.0 innings of two-run ball and the offense came through with a pair of two-run innings, leading a 5-2 victory over the Great Lakes Loons in the series opener on Tuesday night. The Hot Rods improved to 42-33, 3-2 in the second half, with the win, which precedes Wednesday night’s 6:35 p.m. first pitch at Bowling Green Ballpark.
After three quiet innings to start the game, Great Lakes struck first off McGee in the top of the fourth. Jacob Amaya doubled with one out, then moved to third on an infield single by Dillon Paulson. Luke Heyer brought home Amaya with a groundout, which was followed by an RBI double from James Outman, giving Great Lakes a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, though, the Hot Rods cut the deficit in half with a two-out rally against Loons starter Jose Chacin. Grant Witherspoon lined a hustle double to right-center, then scored on an RBI single from Chris Betts.
An inning later, the Hot Rods took the lead against Chacin. Tony Pena led off with a double to right, then scored when Beau Brundage tripled down the right-field line. Two batters later, Ford Proctor brought home Brundage with a sacrifice fly, putting the Hot Rods in front by a 3-2 score.
In the seventh, the Hot Rods added on to the advantage against the Great Lakes bullpen. With Jasiel Alvino on the mound, Proctor drew a leadoff walk, then advanced to third on a hit-and-run single by Seaver Whalen. Witherspoon followed with a single to right-center, scoring Proctor and moving Whalen to third. Betts followed with a sac fly to extend the lead to 5-2.
Cristopher Sanchez did the rest, throwing 3.0 hitless innings while allowing just one baserunner, earning a nine-out save to nail down a 5-2 victory.
McGee (5-2) went 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking one seven and walking just one in earning his fifth win. Sanchez went the final three frames, allowing no runs, hits, or walks, while hitting one batter and striking out four, earning his second save.