The Bowling Green Hot Rods’ playoff hopes took another hit with an 8-3 loss to Fort Wayne (Ind.) on Thursday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Fort Wayne used a strong third inning to take control and finish off a three-game sweep of the Hot Rods. The loss dropped Bowling Green 1½ games behind Lake County (Ohio) for a playoff spot with four games left in the first half.
Hopkinsville native Easton McGee was unable to get through three innings – his shortest outing of the season – as Fort Wayne (31-34) built an eight-run cushion and cruised from there.
The TinCaps got a run in the first on a sacrifice fly before breaking it open two innings later. The first five batters reached – including RBI singles by Xavier Edwards and Agustin Ruiz. An RBI groundout made the score 4-0 before Luis Roman connected on a three-run homer to cap the rally.
McGee’s night was done after three – allowing a season-high seven runs and seven hits.
Fort Wayne got one more run in the fourth, but that was more than enough.
Michael Smith and Seaver Whalen had RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth and Ford Proctor’s fly ball to left was misplayed into an RBI double, but Bowling Green (38-29) was unable to get any closer despite outhitting Fort Wayne 12-9.
Smith and Proctor paced the Hot Rods’ offense with three hits each, while Kaleo Johnson added two hits. Bowling Green finished 4-for-19 with runners in scoring position, stranding 14.
The Hot Rods announced a High School All-Star Showcase – featuring some of the top sophomores and juniors in Region 3 and Region 4 – will start at 2 p.m. June 22 at Bowling Green Ballpark.
South Warren’s Chris Gage will coach the junior team, which includes Allen County-Scottsville’s Zane Ward; Bowling Green’s Carson Kelley, Charlie Key and Geoffrey Ross; Glasgow’s Tanner Abernathy, Jaden Franklin and Nik Sorrell; Greenwood’s Dell Henk and Lance Upright; Logan County’s Riley Ferguson, Braxton Meguiar and Parker White; South Warren’s Adam Burns and Cade Vernon; and Warren Central’s Jordan Miller and Noah Thomas.
Bowling Green’s Nathan Isenberg will coach the sophomore team, which includes Allen County-Scottsville’s Matthew Brown; Bowling Green’s Maddox Burr and Eli Burwash; Glasgow’s Tyler Lane and Cole Stephens; Greenwood’s Braxton Garner, Wesley Flowers and Cade Thornton; Logan County’s Braxton Baptiste, Macon Barrow and Jaxon Hendrix; South Warren’s Dane Isabel and Logan Smith; and Warren East’s Nolan Ford.
Butler County’s Carter Graham will be part of the Region 3 sophomore roster.
The sophomore all-stars will face off against each other first, with the junior all-stars set to face off immediately following the first game.
The Hot Rods will wrap up the first half at Lansing (Mich.), opening a three-game series at 6:05 p.m. CDT Friday.
Left-hander Cristopher Sanchez (1-1, 3.22) is scheduled to start for the Hot Rods. Sanchez will be making his third start of the season, his seventh appearance overall. He threw five shutout innings in his last start against West Michigan on Sunday.
Lansing has yet to announce a starter.