The Bowling Green Hot Rods clinched a postseason berth after a 3-2 win in game one, and split a doubleheader with the Winston-Salem Dash after a 9-5 loss in game two Thursday night at Truist Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Hot Rods (76-34) jumped out to an early lead in game one of the twin bill against Dash starter Kaleb Roper. Alika Williams lifted a one-out solo homer to left, his second of the series, to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 edge.
Two more runs scored in the fourth against Roper. Curtis Mead led off with a double and went to third when Grant Witherspoon singled to left. Mead scored when Jordan Qsar grounded out to first while Logan Driscoll singled home Witherspoon to give the Hot Rods a 3-0 lead.
Winston-Salem (41-69) scored two runs off Hot Rods reliever Angel Felipe, but the righty worked through the trouble to close out the game and secure Bowling Green’s eighth playoff berth in team history.
Evan McKendry (4-2) earned a win after tossing five shutout innings, holding the Dash to three hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Felipe allowed two runs over two innings with three hits and four strikeouts in a save.
The Dash put up a run to take the lead in the second inning of game two, but Hill Alexander hit a two-run homer in the top of the third to take the lead, 2-1.
The Hot Rods added two more in the fourth, but Winston-Salem came back within a run thanks to two runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 4-3 game.
Winston-Salem broke through in the sixth with six runs, going on to win 9-4, splitting the doubleheader.
Michael Mercado threw three hitless frames while holding the Dash to one unearned run with a walk in a no-decision. Michael Costanzo allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout. Jose Lopez (2-1) took the loss with his first blown save after allowing six earned runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout.
The Hot Rods and Dash play the fourth game of a six-game series on Friday with a 6 p.m. CT first pitch.