Hill Alexander became the first Bowling Green Hot Rods player to hit three home runs in a game, but the Greenville Drive mounted a ninth-inning comeback to win 9-8 on Friday night at Bowling Green Ballpark.

The Hot Rods (62-26) took a second-inning lead against Yusniel Padron-Artiles and the Drive (46-41). Erik Ostberg led off with a single and Alexander hit his first homer of the night and sixth of the season, making it a 2-0 game. Jacson McGowan tripled and scored when Roberto Alvarez doubled to give the Hot Rods a 3-0 edge.

Greenville got a two-run homer in the third to make it a one-run game before Alexander blasted his second homer of the game in the third, a two-run shot, extending the lead to 5-2.

A five-run inning off Bowling Green starter John Doxakis shifted the game in Greenville’s favor, highlighted by Nick Sogard’s grand slam. The Drive took a 7-5 advantage after the dust settled, but it didn’t last long.

Evan Edwards hit his 17th home run of the season in the fourth against Padron-Artiles. The blast was a two-run shot that tied the game at 7-7 before Alexander made Hot Rods history in the sixth. The No. 6 hitter in Bowling Green’s lineup stepped in against Padron-Artiles in his final inning of work and, in a 1-1 count, clubbed his third long ball of the game over the left-center field wall. Alexander became the first Hot Rods player to homer three times in a game dating back to the club’s inception in 2009.

Bowling Green held the Drive to their seven runs until the ninth, when Wil Dalton reached on a two-out strikeout thanks to a wild pitch. A walk to Elih Marrero and a Jake Mackenzie double scored both runners to give the Drive a 9-8 lead. The Hot Rods went down in order in the bottom of the frame to cap a one-run loss. 

Doxakis allowed seven runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts in a no-decision. Ezequiel Zabaleta went two scoreless frames, allowing three hits with two strikeouts. Zack Trageton also tossed two scoreless, allowing a hit and a walk with a strikeout in a hold. Chris Gau (2-2) took the loss and a blown save after allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and five strikeouts.

The Hot Rods and Drive play the fifth game of a six-game series on Saturday with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. The Hot Rods start right-hander Evan McKendry (3-2, 3.43) against Drive lefty Brandon Walter (2-2, 4.03).