The Bowling Green Hot Rods held the West Michigan Whitecaps to three runs in a doubleheader sweep Sunday, winning 4-1 and 3-2 at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The Hot Rods improved to 37-26 ahead of Monday’s 12:05 p.m. series finale.
The early innings of Game 1 flew by as Matthew Liberatore and Gio Arriera traded zeroes. Bowling Green had two men on base in the first but failed to score. In the second, Rey Rivera tripled, But Liberatore finished that inning unscathed. Through five innings, both teams had combined for just five hits and the game remained scoreless.
In the sixth, Bowling Green broke through against Arriera. The Hot Rods loaded the bases with one out, then took the lead as Seaver Whalen lined a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Michael Smith. Ford Proctor followed with an RBI double to right, scoring Kaleo Johnson. Tony Pena then struck out, but catcher Chris Proctor couldn’t handle it as Chris Betts came down to score a third run.
Following a pitching change, Michael Gizzi threw a wild pitch, bringing home Proctor give Bowling Green a 4-0 lead. Trey Cumbie allowed a solo homer to Rivera with two outs in the seventh but nailed down a 4-1 win in the first game.
Liberatore (4-0) went six innings, allowing just three hits and two walks, striking out two in earning his fourth win of the year. Cumbie threw the final inning of the first game, allowing a run on a hit with two strikeouts.
In the nightcap, the Hot Rods jumped in front in the first inning. After Smith was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, Franco tripled into the right-field corner to bring home Smith, then scored when the throw was muffed by the third baseman Hector Martinez, giving Bowling Green a 2-0 lead.
The score remained the same into the fourth when Grant Witherspoon reached on an error to begin the inning. After advancing to second on a groundout, Whalen lined a single to left field, scoring Witherspoon to extend the lead to 3-0.
Cristopher Sanchez worked five scoreless innings, then gave way to Chris Muller in the sixth. Muller allowed a home run to Wenceel Perez to begin the inning, but retired the next two hitters. However, Martinez followed with a home run of his own, cutting the lead to 3-2.
In the seventh, Nick Padilla allowed hits to Parker Meadows and Avery Tuck to open the inning, putting runners on the corners with no outs. After a strikeout, Kingston Liniak attempted to tie the game with a squeeze bunt, but Padilla threw out Meadows at the plate to preserve the lead. Padilla then induced a groundout from Perez to first, securing a 3-2 win and a sweep of the doubleheader for Bowling Green.
Sanchez (1-0) scattered five hits while striking out five. Padilla nailed down his first save, working a scoreless seventh, allowing two hits and striking out one.