BOWLING GREEN, KY- The Bowling Green Hot Rods (42-26, 80-56) kept their second-half Eastern Division hopes alive with a 5-3 win over the Lake County Captains (31-37, 54-81) on Saturday night. A three run fifth inning was the big blow to the Captains.
To open the final series of the season, it was two southpaws that faced off against each other. Luis Lugo was on the mound for the Captains as he was opposed by Kevin Brandt for the Hot Rods.
Both pitchers put zeroes on the board for the first three innings until the Captains broke through in the fourth inning. Designated hitter Jeremy Lucas laced a one-out single to right field and scored on catcher Eric Haase’s 22nd double of the year.
Bowling Green tied the game in the bottom half of the frame. Third baseman Tyler Goeddel opened the inning with a walk and then he stole second base. Designated hitter Justin O’Conner singled home Goeddel for his 56th RBI of the campaign.
Lake County left fielder Nick Hamilton hit his first professional homerun in the fifth inning to give the Captains a 2-1 lead.
For the second straight inning, the Hot Rods had an answer to the Captains scoring a run. Catcher Geoff Rowan reached on a fielding error by third baseman Joe Sever. The next batter, shortstop Brandon Martin drilled his sixth homer of the year to give the Hot Rods a 3-2 lead. Goeddel followed with a double and scored on a RBI single by left fielder Leonardo Reginatto, doubling the Hot Rods lead.
In the sixth inning, shortstop Dorssys Paulino opened with a ground-rule double to right field and crossed the plate on Haase’s second RBI hit of the night.
Bowling Green added an insurance run in the eighth inning off of Geoff Davenport. Second baseman Thomas Coyle singled home Reginatto, who reached on a triple.
Davenport allowed one run in three innings of relief work for Lake County while Andrew Hanse threw two and two thirds innings of scoreless relief for the Hot Rods. Hanse earned his third save of the year.
Lugo took his first loss of the year, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out three. Brandt pitched into the seventh inning to record his third win of the season. He went six and one third innings with three runs given up on eight hits.
Both teams had eight hits in the series opener. Haase led the visiting team with a three hit night, including two RBI’s. Hamilton added two hits of his own in the losing cause.
The Captains and Hot Rods will resume the three game series with an afternoon game on Sunday. RHP Dylan Baker (7-6, 3.63) will make his final start for Lake County as he will be opposed by RHP Reinaldo Lopez (7-5, 3.00) for Bowling Green.