Caminero’s Homer Boosts Hot Rods to 5-3 Win Over Crawdads

Hickory, North Carolina – Junior Caminero slugged a three-run, go-ahead, home run in the top of the fifth that powered the Bowling Green Hot Rods (6-2) past the Hickory Crawdads (4-4) 5-3 on Tuesday night at LP Frans Stadium in Hickory, North Carolina.

Hickory scored first in the bottom of the second inning off Bowling Green starter Patrick Wicklander. Geisel Cepeda thumped a solo homer over the right field wall to give the Crawdads a 1-0 lead.

The Hot Rods answered back with a run in the top of the third off Crawdads starter Gavin Collyer. Shane Sasaki singled to center and stole second. Carson Williams reached on an infield single, and a throwing error scored Sasaki, to tie the game up 1-1.

With Wicklander still on the bump, Hickory took back the lead in the bottom of the third. Frainyer Chavez led off with a single to center and stole second. Daniel Mateo singled to left and moved up to second on the throw, placing runners at second and third. Max Acosta scored Chavez on a base hit to left and regained a 2-1 lead for the Crawdads.

Blake Robertson singled and Shane Sasaki walked to put runners on first and second in the top of the fifth. Junior Caminero plated both runners on a three-run home run off Crawdads reliever Yohanse Morel and Bowling Green took a 4-2 lead.

The Crawdads cut the deficit in the bottom of the seventh against Hot Rods reliever Roel Garcia. Acosta pushed a solo homer over the left field wall to make it a 4-3 game.

Caminero singled, Kenny Piper got hit by a pitch, and Dru Baker singled to load the bases in the top of the eighth against Hickory reliever Spencer Mraz. Nick Schnell scored Caminero from third on a sacrifice fly to left and granted Bowling Green another two-run lead, 5-3. Nelson Alvarez held Hickory scoreless in the ninth to raise the Hot Rods over the Crawdads, 5-3.

Roel Garcia (2-0) picked up the win with 3.2 scoreless frames, four strikeouts, and a walk. Collyer (0-1) received the loss, giving up three runs on four hits while collecting five strikeouts and two walks in 4.1 innings. Alvarez got the save (1), pitching 2.0 perfect innings with five strikeouts.

The Hot Rods and the Crawdads play game two of the six-game series on Wednesday with first pitch set for 6:00 PM CT. Bowling Green is starting J.J. Goss (0-0, 4.50), while Hickory sends Winston Santos (1-0, 2.61) to the bump.