PEORIA, Ill. (WBKO) --- Caleb Sampen turned in a quality start for the Bowling Green Hot Rods, tossing seven shutout innings while allowing just one hit to the Peoria Chiefs in a 2-1 loss on Friday night at Dozer Park in Peoria, IL. The Hot Rods are 16-12 overall and will take on the Peoria Distillers as the Bowling Green Bootleggers on Saturday in the Battle for the Barrel with a 6:35 PM CDT first pitch.
Neither pitching staff allowed a run over the first seven innings of play but Sampen dominated the Chiefs lineup for the Hot Rods. In his fifth start of the season the righty allowed a hit to the third batter he faced and then hunkered down. The Hot Rods starter went on a roll, retiring the next 19 batters he faced which included eight strikeouts.
The Hot Rods finally broke through in the eighth against Chiefs reliever Thomas St. Clair. Chris Betts earned a one-out walk and went to second when Tony Pena singled to right. A passed ball allowed Betts to move to third with Pena filling in at second and Jake Palomaki singled to right, scoring Betts to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth the Chiefs tied and took the lead against Hot Rods reliever Nick Sprengel. With one out, Wadye Ynfante doubled to left and Alexis Wilson walked while Ynfante scored after Brandon Riley singled to center to tie the game. Edwin Figuera rolled a ball to first base but Kaleo Johnson’s throw to second was errant and ended up in left-center and allowed Wilson to score the go-ahead run. Sprengel struck out Nolan Gorman to end the inning, but the frame ended with the Chiefs in front, 2-1.
Sampen tossed seven scoreless innings while holding the Chiefs to one hit with eight strikeouts in a no decision. Sprengel (0-1) blew a save and took the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.