The Bowling Green Hot Rods (34-17) dropped the penultimate game of a six-game series 6-5 against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (30-23) on Saturday at Bowling Green Ballpark in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Grasshoppers got the scoring started in the top of the first against Hot Rods starter Zack Trageton. Jared Triolo started the inning with a single and a steal of second base. Chase Murray singled to move Triolo to third and Will Matthiessen singled to bring in Triolo, advancing Murray to third. Matthew Fraizer grounded out to first base bringing in Murray to make the Greensboro lead 2-0.
The lead increased to 4-0 in the third with Greensboro scoring two runs, but the Hot Rods evened the score in the bottom half against Grasshoppers starter Carmen Mlodzinski. Connor Hollis led off with a double and advanced to second on a walk from Luis Trevino. Jacson McGowan loaded the bases with a single and Pedro Martinez brought in Hollis on a ground out to make the deficit 4-1. One out later, Grant Witherspoon crushed a three-run homer over right field wall to clear the bases and tie the game at 4-4.
Bowling green scored another run in the bottom of the fourth frame with Mlodzinski still on the mound. Niko Hulsizer led off with a solo home run into the right-field bullpen to give the Hot Rods a 5-4 edge. The homer is Hulsizer’s 12th of the season and his second in the past two games.
Greensboro scored a run in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 5-5. They brought in another run in the top of the eighth against Bowling Green reliever Colby White. Dylan Shockley hit a solo home run to push the Grasshoppers ahead, 6-5. The Hot Rods loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth but couldn’t muster any more offense and fell short 6-5.
Trageton pitched 3.0 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs while striking out two in a no-decision. Carlos Garcia pitched 2.1 innings, giving up one hit and one unearned run while striking out three. Tanner Dodson tossed 1.2 innings while giving up one hit and striking out two in a blown save. White (0-1) pitched the final two frames, surrendering one run on three hits and striking out three in his first loss of the season.