Hot Rods Take Down Rome in Home Opener

Bowling Green, Kentucky – The Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-0) used home runs from Dru Baker and Shane Sasaki, while the pitching staff struck out 12 to take down the Rome Braves (2-1) by a score of 7-3 on Tuesday at Bowling Green Ballpark.

Rome brought in the first run of the game in the top of the first against Bowling Green starter Keyshawn Askew. Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. and Geraldo Quintero led off with walks. Ignacio Alvarez Jr. singled to center, scoring Kilpatrick to take a 1-0 lead.

The Hot Rods evened the score in the bottom of the second against Braves starter Luis Vargas. Matthew Dyer collected a one out single and advanced to second on an error. One out later, Blake Robertson walked, and Schnell singled to center, plating Dyer to tie the game 1-1.

Another run scored for Bowling Green in the bottom of the third inning against Rome reliever Ronny Munoz. Carson Williams worked a leadoff walk and stole second. He moved up to third base on a flyout from Junior Caminero and Willy Vasquez grounded out to third, scoring Williams to take a 2-1 lead.

Bowling Green kept on the offensive pressure in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two more runs with Munoz still on the mound. Schnell walked and Sasaki doubled to put runners at second and third. Williams singled to center, scoring Schnell, and moving Sasaki to third. In the next at-bat, Caminero grounded out to second base, scoring Sasaki to increase the Hot Rods lead to 4-1.

The Braves responded in the top of the sixth inning, plating two runs against Hot Rods reliever Austin Vernon. Adam Zebrowski led off the inning with a double. Two outs later, Kadon Morton hit a two-run homer to center, cutting into the lead, 4-3.

A pair of home runs against Rome reliever Ryder Jones in the bottom of the sixth kept the Hot Rods safely ahead. Baker smacked a leadoff homer to left and Sasaki followed with a solo shot of his own two outs later, making it 6-3. Bowling Green added one more run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI knock from Schnell, leading to a 7-3 Hot Rods victory.

Vernon (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, working through 3.0 innings while allowing two runs on three hits, striking out six in the process. Munoz (0-1) surrendered three runs on three hits, walking three and striking out one in his first loss of the season.

The Hot Rods and Braves play the second game of a six-game series Wednesday with an 11:05 AM CT first pitch. Bowling Green will send LHP Patrick Wicklander (0-0, 0.00) to the mound against Rome LHP Samuel Strickland (0-0, 0.00).