Bowling Green pitchers struck out 18 Lansing batters as the Hot Rods beat the Lugnuts 8-4 Thursday.
Hot Rods starting pitcher Cameron Varga (W, 2-0) led the way with 10 strikeouts in six innings. Two relievers added to the total as Ian Gibaut struck out five in two innings and Roel Ramirez struck out three in one inning.
Lansing pitchers registered only four strikeouts.
An interesting side note from that game: Hot Rods centerfielder Angel Moreno hit the ball to Lugnuts shortstop J.C. Cardenas four times, and Cardenas committed errors on three of the plays. Originally all four of those at-bats resulted in errors for Cardenas, but one of them was changed to an infield single after the game.
Elsewhere in the Midwest League, West Michigan Whitecaps starting pitcher Spenser Watkins (W, 1-0) struck out nine Dayton Dragons while giving up only one hit and a walk in six innings; and Lake County Captains starting pitcher Sam Hentges (ND) struck out eight Great Lakes Loons in four innings.
On the same day in the big leagues, a pair of former MWL hurlers turned in dominant performances that included high strikeout totals.
Philadelphia Phillies starter Vince Velasquez tossed a three-hit shutout with 16 strikeouts and no walks. He pitched for the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2013, going 9-4 with a 3.19 ERA, three saves, 123 strikeouts and 33 walks in 110 IP (25 games/16 starts).
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia threw a one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts and one walk. He pitched for the 2006 Swing of the Quad Cities, going 5-4 with a 2.90 ERA, 80 strikeouts and 18 walks in 77.2 IP (13 starts). He made a rehab start for the Peoria Chiefs last year, striking out six batters in the first five innings of a nine-inning no-hitter against the Clinton LumberKings.