The Bowling Green Hot Rods stayed hot with a 4-2 win Thursday over Dayton (Ohio) at Bowling Green Ballpark.

Bowling Green (50-34 overall, 11-3 second half) jumped out to an early lead, and Matthew Liberatore and two relievers made it stand up as the Hot Rods kicked off a season-high 11-game homestand with their ninth win in the past 10 games.

“We have been doing a really good job in the second half, gotten off to a good start,” Bowling Green manager Reinaldo Ruiz said. “Hopefully we can keep the momentum going in this long homestand. The boys are playing well and the pitchers are doing a really good job.”

The Hot Rods scored in each of the first three innings.

Jonathan’s Aranda’s RBI groundout highlighted a two-run first-inning rally. Osmy Gregorio added an RBI single in the second, and Izzy Wilson’s solo homer to right made the score 4-0 after three.

Dayton (33-51, 5-9) broke through in the fifth and chased Liberatore.

The first four batters reached base, including an RBI single by Mariel Bautista that got the Dragons on the board. After Miles Gordon lined out to second, Liberatore walked Jay Schuyler with the bases loaded – ending his night and cutting the Hot Rods’ lead to 4-2.

Cristopher Sanchez relieved and stopped the rally with a force out at home and a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

“That was the key right there, when Sanchez was able to strand those three runners,” Ruiz said. “After that, we knew we had a good chance to win the game.”

The bullpen threw blanks from there, with Sanchez (3-1) earning the win. The left-hander allowed one hit over 2 2/3 innings of relief to run his scoreless streak to 16 innings.

Cristofer Ogando struck out five over two scoreless innings to earn his fourth save of the season, while Gregorio paced the offense with three hits.


Thursday’s announced attendance was 6,199 – the largest crowd of the season and the largest crowd for a Fourth of July game at Bowling Green Ballpark in the franchise’s 11-year history.

It was the fifth-largest crowd in franchise history and the largest crowd since April 26, 2017.

“It’s always good to play in a ballpark with a lot of fans,” Ruiz said. “Tonight was a good feeling. We went out there with all those fans cheering for us. That was huge.”


Before the game, the Hot Rods announced infielder Seaver Whalen has been placed on the seven-day injured list. Catcher Nate Soria was added to the roster.


The series continues at 6:35 p.m. Friday.

Right-hander Shane Baz (3-0, 1.85) is scheduled to start for the Hot Rods. Baz failed to pitch five innings for the first time in seven starts with the Hot Rods – allowing a season-high three earned runs in four innings at Lansing (Mich.) on Saturday. He is 1-0 against the Dragons this season, tossing five shutout innings with two hits a season-high nine strikeouts on May 26.

Right-hander Jhon De Jesus (1-7, 4.73) is scheduled to start for the Dragons. De Jesus has not won since beating Bowling Green in its home opener April 6. He has worked at least five innings in his last three starts, allowing two earned runs in each start, but is 0-2 in that span.{&end}

– Follow Hot Rods reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit


Sports Writer. Cover prep sports, Hot Rods baseball, Titans football, and is the Daily News staff film critic.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.