BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- Joe Ryan tied the Hot Rods’ single-game record with 12 strikeouts and the Hot Rods scored in five consecutive innings in a 10-4 victory over the Lake County Captains in the rubber game of the three-game series. Bowling Green improved to 7-7 ahead of the start of a three-game series at Great Lakes, which begins with a 5:05 p.m. CDT first pitch on Thursday and begins a six-game road trip.
Ryan issued a leadoff walk to begin the game, but after a fly out to center, he embarked on an impressive string of swings and misses. Ryan struck out the final two hitters of the first inning, then struck out the side in the second, giving him five straight strikeouts.
In the bottom of the second, the Hot Rods took the lead as Roberto Alvarez connected for a solo homer off Captains starter Juan Mota. His second homer of the season cleared the left field wall to put the Hot Rods up 1-0.
In the third, Ryan’s strikeout string continued as he collected his sixth consecutive punch-out to begin the inning, but followed it up by issuing a pair of walks. After a pop-up for the second out, a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Will Benson then beat out a ground ball to deep short to score Hosea Nelson, tying the game at one apiece.
The Hot Rods took advantage of a pair of free baserunners in the bottom of the third. Bryce Brown drew a walk and Connor Hollis was hit by a pitch, putting two on with two outs for Chris Betts. Betts turned around a 1-2 pitch and lined it over the wall in right field for a three-run homer that put the Hot Rods up 4-1.
On the mound, Ryan controlled the Lake County offense. He retired the final seven hitters he faced, striking out six of them, including four straight punchouts to finish off his dominant start.
The Bowling Green bats continued to rack up offensive support, scoring single runs in the fourth and fifth, followed by two runs in the sixth to build an 8-1 lead.
Lake County scored twice in the eighth and once in the ninth, but the Bowling Green offense got in the final cuts, receiving an RBI single from Brown and Wander Franco’s second sacrifice fly of the day to reach double-digit runs, capping off a 10-4 win that gave the Hot Rods their second consecutive series victory to cap off the homestand.
Ryan worked 5.0 innings, allowing one run on just one hit, walking three and striking out 12. Miguel Lara came out of the bullpen and worked around three walks, striking out two in a pair of scoreless innings. Justin Marsden finished off the contest, allowing three runs in two innings of work.