Grant Witherspoon’s three-run homer in the second inning boosted the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a 5-3 win over the Aberdeen IronBirds (38-36) on Thursday night at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md.
Jordan Westburg put Aberdeen (38-36) in front in the first with a leadoff homer, but the Hot Rods (53-21) took the lead in the second against IronBirds starter Conner Loeprich. Hill Alexander singled to left with one out and scored when Jacson McGowan doubled to the left field corner, tying the game. Michael Gigliotti walked and Grant Witherspoon blasted his 13th homer of the season off the batter’s eye in dead center, putting the Hot Rods up 4-1.
Loeprich gave up another run to Bowling Green in the fourth before leaving the game. McGowan worked a leadoff walk and scored when Luis Trevino ripped a double to left, giving the Hot Rods a 5-1 edge.
The IronBirds scored twice in the seventh inning against Bowling Green reliever Michael Costanzo, but Costanzo rebounded and held the IronBirds scoreless in the final two frames to give the Hot Rods a 5-3 victory.
Evan McKendry tossed three innings in a no-decision, allowing one run on a hit with three strikeouts. Carlos Garcia (6-1) threw three scoreless innings in his sixth win of the season, holding Aberdeen to one hit with two walks and three strikeouts. Costanzo earned a save after tossing the final three innings while allowing two runs on two hits with a walk, a hit batsman and five strikeouts.
The Hot Rods and IronBirds will play the fourth game of the series on Friday with a 6:05 p.m. CT first pitch… The Hot Rods will start right-hander Alan Strong (5-0, 3.13) against Ironbirds righty Garrett Stallings (7-3, 4.09).