McGee’s Quality Start, Big Third Inning Pace 5-1 Win

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- Easton McGee threw 6.0 innings of one-run ball and the Hot Rods plated four two-out runs in the third inning to lead the Bowling Green to a 5-1 win, clinching a series victory over the Lansing Lugnuts. The Hot Rods are off on Monday before a three-game series in Cedar Rapids against the Kernels, which will begin with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday night.

McGee was aided by his defense early on, receiving a 6-4-3 double play to end the first, as well as a double play off a strikeout and caught stealing to end the second.

Offensively, the Hot Rods got off to a fast start in the first, with Ford Proctor lining the second pitch from Lansing starter Juan De Paula off the left field wall for a leadoff double. Wander Franco moved Proctor to third with a fly ball to center before Connor Hollis lifted a sacrifice fly to right, giving Bowling Green a 1-0 lead.

The score stayed the same into the bottom of the third, when Proctor lined another double, this time off the right-field wall, to begin the inning. With one out, Connor Hollis was hit by a pitch, putting two men on. With two outs, Chris Betts doubled to right-center, scoring both runs. Betts came home when Roberto Alvarez reached on a throwing error to extend the inning. Jake Palomaki capped off the rally with an RBI single to right, giving the Hot Rods a 5-0 advantage.

Lansing mounted a threat in the fifth against McGee. Following a leadoff walk to Jake Brodt, McGee surrendered three straight singles with one out, with the final hit being an RBI single from D.J. Neal that scored Brodt, making it 5-1. McGee then buckled down and induced a flyout and fielder’s choice to preserve the four-run cushion.

The rest of the contest was left up to the Hot Rods’ pitching staff. Christofer Ogando relieved McGee in the seventh, starting a procession of scoreless innings from the Bowling Green bullpen. Nick Sprengel and Chris Muller also put up scoreless frames to wrap up the 5-1 victory, securing three wins in the four-game set against Lansing.

McGee (3-0) worked a season-high 6.0 innings in earning the win, allowing a run on six hits, while walking one and striking out two. Ogando worked around a hit and a walk in a scoreless seventh. Sprengel threw a perfect eighth inning with a strikeout and Muller finished the contest by striking out two and walking one in a hitless ninth inning.