Hot Rods Quiet at the Plate, Fall 5-1 in Hickory

Hickory, North Carolina – Blake Robertson got on base four times, including two singles and two walks, but the Bowling Green Hot Rods (6-4) offense only mustered one run in a 5-1 loss to the Hickory Crawdads (6-4) on Thursday night at LP Frans Stadium in Hickory, North Carolina.

The Hickory offense powered their way to a lead in the bottom of the first against Bowling Green starter Ben Peoples. Max Acosta singled and scored on a two-run homer by Josh Hatcher that put the Crawdads up 2-0. In the bottom of the third, Alejandro Osuna led off with a walk and moved up to second on a ground ball. Osuna scored on an RBI single from Liam Hicks to increase the Hickory lead to 3-0.

Another run came in the bottom of the seventh for the Crawdads off Hot Rods reliever Antonio Jimenez. Jayce Easley reached first on a bunt single and moved up to second on a balk. He made it a 4-0 game by stealing third and advancing home on a throwing error from Kenny Piper. In the bottom of the eighth, Hatcher walked, stole second, and scored on an RBI double by Keyber Rodriguez to increase Hickory’s lead, 5-0.

Bowling Green scored their first run of the game in the top of the ninth against Eudrys Manon. Nick Schnell and Blake Robertson both singled to put runners on first and third. Oniell Manzueta plated Schnell on an infield single to cut the deficit to 5-1. Bowling Green’s rally stopped there, falling to the Hickory, 5-1.

Josh Stephan (2-0) picked up the win by striking out 10 and walking three in 7.0 scoreless innings. Ben Peoples (0-1) got the loss, letting up three runs on eight hits while striking out four and allowing a walk in 4.1 innings.

The Hot Rods and the Crawdads play the fourth game of a six-game series on Friday with first pitch set for 6:00 PM CT. Bowling Green is sending RHP Austin Vernon (1-0, 18.69) to the mound, while Hickory give LHP Mitch Bratt (0-0, 2.08) the nod.