The Bowling Green Hot Rods posted season-highs in hits and runs in the team’s 18-4 win over the Hickory Crawdads on Tuesday night at LP Frans Stadium in Hickory, N.C.

The Hot Rods (28-13) took a first-inning lead against Hickory starter Justin Slaten. Pedro Martinez tripled to right and scored when Connor Hollis singled to left with one out to make it a 1-0 game. Evan Edwards walked and Niko Hulsizer singled to right, driving in Hollis to extend the Hot Rods' edge to 2-0.

Former Hot Rod Trey Hair hit a two-run homer off Bowling Green starter Michael Mercado in the bottom of the first to tie the game, but the Hot Rods added three more in the second against Slaten. Jordan Qsar and Erik Ostberg led off with back-to-back singles and, with one out, Greg Jones singled to plate Qsar. Ostberg and Jones scored when Hollis doubled to left, giving the Hot Rods a 5-2 lead.

Bowling Green was back again in the third, scoring four more against Slaten and the Crawdads (15-28). Blake Hunt singled and went to second on a throwing error by Hickory’s third baseman and with two outs Ostberg walked. Martinez singled to left, scoring Hunt to make it a 6-2 game. Jones homered for the eighth time of the year, clearing the bases with a three-run shot to extend the Bowling Green lead to 9-2.

Bowling Green collected five more runs in the fourth to go up 14-2 and Edwards added a solo homer in the seventh, while Hulsizer hit a three-run shot in the ninth that went an estimated 470 feet. 

Mercado allowed two runs on two hits with three strikeouts in a no-decision. Zack Trageton (4-1) earned a win after throwing two shutout innings out of the bullpen, holding Hickory to one hit with three strikeouts. Carlos Garcia tossed two scoreless frames with a hit, a walk and two strikeouts. Tanner Dodson threw a scoreless inning while letting up a walk and two hits with three strikeouts. Colby White punched out five in his two innings of relief, allowing two runs on two hits with a walk.

The two teams will play the second game of a six-game series on Wednesday with a 6 p.m. CT first pitch. Left-hander Jacob Lopez (2-0, 2.54) will take the mound for Bowling Green against Crawdads lefty Cole Ragans (0-1, 3.16).