The Hot Rods offense didn’t really get its engine revved up until the 5th inning, but Bowling Green’s starting pitcher kept his opponents stymied before the bats took over in BG’s 17-0 win over the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday.
LHP Matthew Liberatore, a first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018 (No. 16 overall), looked sharp in his Midwest League (and season) debut. He earned the win by scattering four hits and a walk while striking out four batters in five innings for the Hot Rods. When he left the mound for the final time during the game, Bowling Green had a mere 1-0 lead (thanks to a 1st-inning homer by Ford Proctor) — but the Hot Rods scored two, five, one and eight runs respectively in their final four frames to rack up the largest margin of victory in franchise history.
All nine batters in the Hot Rods lineup had multiple hits, and all but one of them drove in at least one run. The biggest blow came off the bat of catcher Chris Betts, who hit a two-out grand slam off position player Rafael Nadea in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Click here to see the game’s box score.