Hot Rods outlast Ironbirds in 13-11 Win

BOWLING GREEN, KY. – Niko Hulsizer hit two homers and collected five RBIs in a 13-11 win for the Bowling Green Hot Rods (24-12) over the Aberdeen IronBirds (20-13) on Sunday at Bowling Green Ballpark in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Monday is a league-wide off day and the Hot Rods will resume play Tuesday in Rome, Georgia, against the Rome Braves with a 6:00 PM CT first pitch.

Aberdeen jumped onto the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning against Hot Rods starter Michael Mercado. With one out, Jordan Westburg singled and advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Mercado. One out later, JD Mundy hit a homer to give the IronBirds a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second against IronBirds starter Drew Rom, the Hot Rods scored two runs to tie the game. Ruben Cardenas and Hulsizer worked back-to-back walks. Jacson McGowan singled to load the bases and Osmy Gregorio drove in Cardenas and Hulsizer to even the score at 2-2.

The Hot Rods added three more runs in the third with Rom still on the mound. Blake Hunt and Cardenas hit singles with one out and came in to score on Hulsizer’s three-run homer. This was Hulsizer’s sixth of the season and gave the Hot Rods a 5-2 edge.

The IronBirds brought in six runs against Mercado and Hot Rods reliever Tanner Dodson, headlined by a three-run homer off the bat of Kyle Stowers to take an 8-5 lead for Aberdeen. Bowling Green added three runs in the bottom of the frame against Rom and IronBirds reliever Logan Gillaspie. Greg Jones led off with a solo home run to cut the deficit to 8-6. Hunt singled and moved to second on a wild pitch, scoring in the next at-bat on a Hulsizer single. After a Jordan Qsar walk, McGowan singled to score Hulsizer and tie the game 8-8.

One run scored in the sixth, and two more scored in seventh for Aberdeen to make it a 11-8 advantage. In the bottom of the seventh against Clayton McGinness, the Hot Rods scored four runs. Cardenas and Hulsizer hit back-to-back homers to bring the Hot Rods within one run, 11-10. An out later, McGowan walked and Erik Ostberg drove him in with a triple off the wall in right-center field to tie the game 11-11. Gregorio grounded out to third with the infield playing in and Ostberg scored to give the Hot Rods a 12-11 lead. Bowling Green added one more run in the eighth when Hulsizer and Qsar earned consecutive walks, executed a double steal, and Hulsizer came home on a passed ball to score the final run in a 13-11 win.


Mercado tossed 4.0 innings, striking out five and walking one, while giving up six runs (five earned) on five hits in a no-decision. Dodson pitched 1.0 inning, allowing two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out one. Michael Costanzo hurled 1.0 inning, giving up one run on one hit, while striking out one. Carlos Garcia (4-1) pitched the final 3.0 innings, surrendering two runs on three hits, striking out three and walking one in a win.