Hot Rods drop second straight to Asheville in 16-12 Shootout

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Bowling Green Hot Rods (12-8) fell short in a 16-12 shootout with the Asheville Tourists (10-9) on Wednesday night at McCormick field in Asheville, North Carolina. The Hot Rods and Tourists battle again Thursday night with a 5:35 PM CT first pitch.

On the first pitch of the game from Asheville starter R.J Freure, Pedro Martinez hit a home run to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead. Greg Jones singled the next at-bat and stole second base. With two outs, Evan Edwards singled him home to give the Hot Rods a 2-0 edge.

The Tourists put up three runs in the first and one run in the second off Bowling Green starter Joe La Sorsa to take a two-run lead. The Hot Rods stormed back in the top of the third, starting with a Jones solo homer off Freure. Blake Hunt doubled, Edwards walked, and both scored on Grant Witherspoon’s two-RBI double. Witherspoon came in to score on an error by Asheville’s second baseman Enmanuel Valdez and the Hot Rods took the lead back, 6-4.

Asheville added another run in the bottom of the third. A couple of runs came in for the Hot Rods in the fourth inning with Freuer still on the mound. Jones walked and Hunt hit a home run to left-center that ended Freuer’s day and increased the Bowling Green advantage to 8-5. Asheville ate into Bowling Green’s lead, scoring two additional runs in the bottom of the fourth and cut the Bowling Green lead to 8-7.

The Hot Rods tacked on one run against Asheville reliever Michael Horrell in the top of the fifth. Witherspoon led off with a single and two wild pitches moved him to third. Jordan Qsar grounded out to first base and brought home Witherspoon to give the Hot Rods a two-run lead, 9-7.

After two runs scored in the bottom of the sixth for Asheville, Bowling Green scored two of their own in the top of the seventh. Witherspoon singled and Jonathan Aranda homered, extending the Hot Rods lead to 11-8.

The Tourists exploded for six runs in the seventh inning off Hot Rods relievers Chris Gau and Ezequiel Zabaleta. They added two more runs off Zabaleta in the eighth. The Hot Rods mustered one more run in the top of the ninth after loading the bases but fell short, 16-12.

La Sorsa tossed 2.0 innings, giving up four runs on four hits, while walking three and striking out two in a no decision. Miller Hogan pitched 3.0 innings, allowing three hits, three runs with two earned, while striking out three and walking two. Gau (0-1) hurled 1.0 inning, letting up five hits, five runs, and walking two. Zabaleta pitched 2.0 innings and surrendered four runs over four hits while striking out two in second blown save.