Vasquez Homers Twice, Hot Rods Down Braves 9-5

Bowling Green, Kentucky – Willy Vazquez launched two home runs to help lift the Bowling Green Hot Rods (3-0) to a 9-5 victory over the Rome Braves (2-2) on Wednesday at Bowling Green Ballpark.

Rome broke onto the scoreboard first against Bowling Green starter Patrick Wicklander. Kevin Kilpatrick led off the inning with a single to right and advanced to second on a stolen base. Drake Baldwin knocked him in with a base hit to center, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead. In the top of the fourth, Rome added to their lead with an RBI single from Brandon Parker, giving the Braves a 2-0 advantage.

The Hot Rods scored their first runs in the bottom of the fourth against Rome starter Samuel Strickland. Carson Williams led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run to cut into the lead, 2-1. Junior Caminero and Vasquez hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Dru Baker singled to right, plating Caminero to even the score, 2-2. One batter later, Jeffry Parra smacked a three-run home run over the left centerfield wall to give the Hot Rods a 5-2 lead.

After the Braves scored a run in the top of the fifth, Williams began the bottom half of the inning with a triple off Rome reliever Jonathan Hughes. Vasquez drove in Williams on a two-run homer to increase the Hot Rods lead to 7-3. Rome answered back with two runs in the sixth to make it a 7-5 game on an RBI double by Kevin Kirkpatrick and RBI single by Baldwin.

In the bottom of the seventh, Caminero singled up the middle off Braves reliever Ronaldo Alesandro. Vasquez homered for his second time of the game, bringing in Caminero as well, to move the score to 9-5. The Hot Rods bullpen held the Braves scoreless the rest of the way to cap off a 9-5 win.

Roel Garcia (1-0) got the win while surrendering three runs on four hits with two strikeouts and three walks. Strickland (0-1) picked up the loss, hurling 3.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, and walking one batter while striking out six.

The Hot Rods transform into the Bootleggers on Thursday as they take on the Braves in the third game of a six-game series with a 6:35 PM CT first pitch. Bowling Green will send RHP J.J. Goss (0-0, 0.00) to the mound against Rome RHP Ian Mejia (1-0, 1.80).