The Greenville (S.C.) Drive spoiled the final game of the homestand for the Bowling Green Hot Rods, leaving with a 7-3 win on Sunday at Bowling Green Ballpark.

Bowling Green nearly rallied from an early four-run deficit before Greenville was able to pull away late.

“They are a good team,” BG manager Jeff Smith said. “They are a good hitting team and they took good at-bats. To take four out of six right there, we are pretty happy about that.”

Greenville got a solo homer from Jaxx Groshans in the second and a three-run home run from Tyler Dearden to push the lead to 4-0 in the third.

The Hot Rods got a run in the bottom of the third on an RBI groundout by Curtis Mead and cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fifth with two runs – including an RBI triple by Mead.

Joe Davis opened the sixth with a solo homer to give the Drive a 5-3 advantage and Greenville added a two-run double by Stephen Scott in the seventh to get the lead back to four runs.

“We felt pretty good when we made it 4-3,” Smith said. “We really felt like if we would gone out there the next inning and put up a zero that we would have kept the momentum on our side and we felt like something good was going to happen. To their credit, they took really good at-bats all series.”

Bowling Green was outhit 10-5.

Michael Mercado took the loss, allowing one run in two innings with four strikeouts, dropping to 1-5 on the season.

HOME SWEET HOME

Despite losing the finale, the Hot Rods won four out of six to win the series and improve to 6-0-1 in series this season.

Bowling Green is 33-9 at home, with Greenville joining Greensboro (N.C.) as the only road teams to win multiple games at Bowling Green Ballpark this season.

“That says how well we play here, but also shows that they are a good team,” Smith said. “They hit and really threw some good arms at us all series. The games that we won, we beat some good arms.”

UP NEXT

The Hot Rods will head to Greensboro for a six-game series in a battle between the top two teams in the High A East South Division. The Hot Rods lead Greensboro by five games.

Game one is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CDT on Tuesday with neither team announcing a starter for the series opener.

“We know it is going to be a good series, a fun series,” Smith said. “They have a good team. I think both of our teams have moved guys up, moved guys around. We are probably both a little different than the last time we played. They have outstanding starting pitching. In fact, it probably is the strength of their ballclub.

“We are just going to go in there and compete. We are excited about it.”{&end}

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

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