The Bowling Green Hot Rods' power surge continued with a 7-5 win over Aberdeen (Md.) on Wednesday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Bowling Green (20-12) hit a season-high five home runs -- two from Jordan Qsar -- and held off a late rally by the IronBirds to even the series. The Hot Rods now have 50 homers on the season, the most in the High-A East.
“You go back and look at your season to see how you are scoring runs, we are scoring a lot of runs on home runs,” Hot Rods manager Jeff Smith said. “Niko (Hulsizer) was hitting some balls that just exploded off his bat. Qsar going to left field and right field and (Greg) Jones hitting a line drive to left center -- just a lot of positives.”
Aberdeen hit the first homer of the night -- a solo shot by Zach Watson in the top of the second -- but the Hot Rods answered with a homer to dead center in the bottom of the inning by Evan Edwards.
Qsar homered in his next two at-bats, an opposite-field shot into the bullpen in left in the third and a solo shot to right over the bullpen two innings later to give BG a 3-1.
Ruben Cardenas added an RBI double in the fourth to make it a three-run game.
The IronBirds got a run back in the sixth, but Jones hit a solo homer in the seventh and Hulsizer added a two-run shot to dead-center in the eighth to make it 7-5.
The late insurance proved to be important as Aberdeen scored three in the ninth -- with the tying run in scoring position -- before Mikey York was able to close it out for the Hot Rods to earn his first save of the season.
“You are gonna have nights like that,” Smith said. “You have to give the other team credit. They never quit. They didn’t throw away any at-bats and they kept battling. We were fortunate to come out on top.
“That’s a good team. They are very well coached and their hitters have excellent approaches.”
Peyton Battenfield earned the win to improve to 2-0, allowing one run with two hits and five strikeouts in five innings.
Hulsizer and Qsar paced the offense with two hits each.
Battenfield continued his strong start to the season with another solid outing on Wednesday.
The right-hander has a 1.45 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 18 hits allowed in 31 innings. He’s allowed five earned runs -- three in a May 28 outing at Asheville.
“He’s got the size,” Smith said. “The fastball jumps out of his hand and is really exploding in the zone. You don’t see a lot of good swings. He’s got the cutter and curveball and I love his use of the change-up tonight. We see a lot of good things.”
The series continues at 6:35 p.m. on Thursday.
Left-hander Jacob Lopez (2-0, 3.48) is scheduled to start for the Hot Rods. Left-hander Ryan Wilson (1-0, 0.75) is scheduled to start for Aberdeen.