Grant Witherspoon had four hits and two RBIs in the Bowling Green Hot Rods' 9-8 walk-off loss to the Winston-Salem Dash (40-68) on Tuesday night at Truist Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Bowling Green (75-34) took a first-inning lead against Dash starter Dan Metzdorf. Alika Williams doubled to left and scored when Witherspoon singled to center field to make it a 1-0 game.
The second inning yielded four more runs, three of which came off Williams’ 400-foot, three-run homer to left that gave the Hot Rods a 5-0 edge.
Winston-Salem (40-68) scored runs in the second and third to come within three runs and made it a one-run game on Harvin Mendoza’s two-run homer in the sixth off Hot Rods reliever Zack Trageton.
Bowling Green extended its lead in the eighth against Dash reliever Yoelvin Silven. Witherspoon led off with a single and went to second on a balk before Evan Edwards’ single advanced him to third. Hill Alexander lifted a sacrifice fly to center, plating Witherspoon to extend the Bowling Green lead to 6-4.
The Dash tied the game in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a two-run homer off the bat of Samir Duenez making it a 6-6 contest.
The Hot Rods jumped back in front in the top of the ninth against Dash reliever McKinley Moore. Martinez bunted for a hit with one out and stole second base. With two outs, Curtis Mead hit an automatic double to right, scoring Martinez to take back the lead. Mead scored from second when Witherspoon singled to left, putting Bowling Green up 8-6.
The Dash saw nine pitches, plating three runs in the bottom of the ninth to walk-off the first game of the series with a 9-8 win.
John Doxakis tossed five innings while allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and a hit batsman. Trageton allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits in his fourth hold of the season. Nathan Witt allowed two runs on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts in an inning of relief work in his first blown save. Alan Strong (6-2) took the loss after his second blown save of the season, throwing 0.2 innings while letting up three runs on five hits in the ninth.
The Hot Rods and Dash play the second game of a six-game series on Wednesday with a 6 p.m. CT first pitch. The Hot Rods will start right-hander Evan McKendry (3-2, 3.69) against Dash righty Kaleb Roper (1-7, 5.03).