Hot Rods capture 50th win in comeback victory over Rome, 8-6

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Bowling Green Hot Rods (50-22) overcame a four-run deficit in a comeback win to take down the Rome Braves (34-38) 8-6 on Sunday at Bowling Green Ballpark in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Hot Rods enjoy a league-wide off day on Monday before traveling to Aberdeen to take on the Ironbirds on Tuesday.

Jesse Franklin V gave the Braves the lead with a three-run homer in the top of the first, but the Hot Rods responded in the bottom of the second against Rome starter Darius Vines. Erik Ostberg worked a one out walk and Hill Alexander hit a two-run homer over the wall in right-center to bring the Hot Rods within one run, 3-2.

Rome added a run in the top of the fourth on another Franklin homer, increasing the Braves lead to 4-2. In the top of the fifth, they brought in two more runs on a Kevin Josephina double to expand their lead to 6-2, but the Hot Rods came roaring back in the sixth. With Vines still on the mound, Pedro Martinez hit a one out double and Connor Hollis plated him with a base hit to make it 6-3. In the next at-bat, Jordan Qsar launched a two-run homer to make the score 6-5.

Bowling Green kept the offense going in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three runs against Braves reliever Coleman Huntley. With two outs, Michael Gigliotti walked and advanced to third on a Grant Witherspoon double. Martinez stepped up to the plate and crushed a double off the base of the wall in center, scoring both and giving the Hot Rods a 7-6 edge. Hollis made it back-to-back doubles, driving in Martinez and expanding the lead to 8-6. Tanner Dodson entered in the top of the ninth, recording a perfect inning and locking down an 8-6 Hot Rods win.

Evan McKendry tossed 2.0 innings, giving up three runs on three hits and struck out two in a no-decision. John Doxakis (2-1) picked up his second win of the year, surrendering seven hits and three runs while striking out three. Carlos Garcia earned his second hold of the season, pitching a scoreless inning while giving up a hit. Dodson pitched a perfect ninth inning, earning his first save of the year.