The Bowling Green Hot Rods digressed in their second season from a 64-74 record in 2009 to a 61-78 record in 2010. The Hot Rods were slightly worse in the second half of the season than the first, but were consistently below average for the whole year. The season wasn’t without its highlights though as the Hot Rods led the Midwest League with 249 stolen bases, 64 more than the second place team. In the second end of season awards post we’ll look at the best performances at the plate and on the mound from Bowling Green in 2010.
Hitter of the year: 2B Tyler Bortnick
- Infielder Tyler Bortnick spent all but 12 games in Bowling Green this season and finished the year as the only Hot Rod with a batting average above .300. Bortnick batted .303 with eight home runs, 45 RBI, 72 runs scored and 39 stolen bases in 113 games with the Hot Rods. Bortnick’s 39 steals were seventh most in the Midwest League, and he ranked tenth in batting average.
- Honorable mention — Outfielder Brett Nommensen led the team with 10 home runs and 68 RBI…Outfielder Ty Morrison ranked second in the Midwest League with 58 stolen bases…Outfielder Christopher Murrill stole 28 bases and batted .292 in 70 games.
Pitcher of the year: RHP Alexander Colome
- Right-handed starting pitcher Alexander Colome was the only Hot Rods’ pitcher with enough innings to qualify for the league ERA title to post an ERA below 4.00. On the season Colome was 6-6 with a 3.95 ERA in 22 starts for the Hot Rods. Colome struck out 118 batters and walked 45 in 114 innings.
- Honorable Mention — Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates posted a 3.30 ERA in 27 games, including 12 starts…Reliever Scott Shuman led the team with 14 saves…Left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein led the team with nine wins and 128 strikeouts.
Wes Cunningham: BluGrass Baseball photo
Highlights from Saturday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Louisville Bats opened its series with Indianapolis with a 10-6 win. Center fielder Dave Sappelt was 5-6 with two doubles, a triple, two RBI, a stolen base and a run scored.
- The Lexington Legends held off a late Augusta rally en route to a 7-6 win. Shortstop Jiovanni Mier was 3-4 with two doubles and three runs scored.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods scored three runs in the eighth inning to tie their game with South Bend but still suffered a 9-7 loss. Second baseman Tyler Bortnick was 4-5 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored.
- Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich was 3-5 with one RBI and two runs scored.
- Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer was 2-3 with a home run, double, three RBI and one run scored for high A High Desert.
- Former Murray St. first baseman and 2010 Padres draftee Wes Cunningham was 2-3 with a triple, home run, three RBI, three walks and two runs scored for short-season Eugene.
- Former Morehead St. shortstop and 2010 White Sox draftee Drew Lee slugged his fifth home run of the season and drove in three runs for rookie-level Bristol.
- LCA alum Robbie Ross surrendered three runs on nine hits in just two and one-third innings in a start for high A Bakersfield but still escaped with a no decision.
Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics
Highlights from Saturday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Louisville Bats dropped consecutive games for the first time since the end of June and were shutout first the first time since July 1 with a 1-0 loss to Columbus. Left-handed pitcher Matt Maloney surrendered just one run in six innings of relief of Travis Wood.
- Great Lakes scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning to break open a tied game and hand the Bowling Green Hot Rods a 10-5 loss. Shortstop Tyler Bortnick was 2-6 with a home run.
- The Lexington Legends‘ game with the West Virginia Power was rained out.
- In his second game for short-season Tri-City, former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer was 3-4 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored.
- Former UK outfielder and 2010 Twins draftee Lance Ray was 3-4 with a double for low A Beloit.
- Former UK catcher Sean Coughlin slugged his fifth home run of the season for AA Mobile.
- Former UofL left-handed reliever and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz earned his third win of the season for rookie-level Johnson City.
- Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich was 3-4 with two doubles for short-season Hudson Valley.
- Former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor was 3-6 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored for low A West Michigan.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones earned his ninth win of the season after surrendering one run on five hits in seven innings for high A Winston-Salem.
- One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker picked up his 10th win of the season for AA Carolina with seven innings of one-run ball. Klinker struck out seven and walked none.
- Paducah native Michael Broadway picked up his third win of the season for AAA Gwinnett.
- Boyd County native and 2010 Royals NDFA Tyler Gatrell picked up his first career win for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
Chad Reineke; Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Highlights from Saturday Kentucky MiLB action:
- Right-handed pitcher Chad Reineke led the Louisville Bats to a 5-2 win over Norfolk. Reineke surrendered just four hits and struck out four in six innings to move to 8-7 on the season.
- Delmarva scored eight runs over the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to blow open the game en route to a 9-1 win over the Lexington Legends. Right-handed pitcher Jose Cisnero fell to 6-6 on the season despite surrendering just three runs on three hits in six innings.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning but surrendered three runs in the bottom half of the inning to suffer a 6-5 loss to Fort Wayne. Shortstop Tyler Bortnick slugged his seventh home run of the season.
- Former UofL catcher and 2010 Giants draftee Jeff Arnold was 3-4 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored for short-season Salem-Keizer.
- Former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer homered for the second straight game and for the tenth time this season for rookie-level Greeneville.
- Former UofL first baseman and 2010 Rangers draftee Andrew Clark tallied three hits and scored twice for short-season Spokane.
- Former WKU infielder and 2010 Phillies draftee Matt Payton was 3-5 with a run scored for the rookie-level GCL Phillies.
- Former EKU infielder Neil Sellers slugged his fourth home run of the season for AAA Lehigh Valley.
- Former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade earned his third win of the season for AAA Albuquerque.
- Former Union College right-handed pitcher Marty Popham earned his fifth win for high A Kinston after striking out 10 in five scoreless innings.
- Boyd County native and 2010 Royals NDFA Tyler Gatrell earned his ninth save of the season for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
In the fourth July awards post we’ll look at the month’s best performances from the Bowling Green Hot Rods:
Hitter of the month: 2B Tyler Bortnick
- Hot Rods speedster Tyler Bortnick will probably never confuse anyone for a middle-of-the-order slugger, but he does his job well at the top of the Bowling Green lineup. In July he led all Hot Rods with a .341 batting average. He also scored 12 times, drove in eight runs and stole 11 bases.
- Honorable Mention: Cody Rogers, Bennett Davis, Gabe Cohen, Brett Nommensen
Pitcher of the month: RHP Scott Shuman
- July was not kind to Hot Rods starting pitcher, but several relievers posted standout performances headlined by closer Scott Shuman. The right-handed pitcher went 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA and two saves in nine appearances. Shuman struck out 20 and walked eight in 12 and two-thirds innings.
- Honorable Mention: Jake Sullivan, Deivis Mavarez, Alex Koronis, Aaron Dott, Tyree Hayes
Drew Lee; Morehead St. photo
Highlights from Sunday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Louisville Bats extended their season-high winning streak to 10 games with a 3-2 win over Charlotte. Left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman recorded his eighth win of the season with two scoreless innings of relief. In his last 10 games, Chapman is 3-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched.
- The Lexington Legends broke a 2-2 tie with five runs in the seventh and eighth innings to earn a 7-2 win over Delmarva. First baseman Kody Hinze was 3-4 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods evened its series with Lansing at one win a piece with a 10-8 victory over the Lugnuts. Designated hitter Tyler Bortnick was 3-5 with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and three runs scored.
- Former UofL infielder Justin McClanahan was 2-5 with a home run, four RBI and one run scored for high A Dunedin.
- Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer tallied three hits in four at-bats for high A High Desert.
- Former Morehead St. infielder and 2010 White Sox draftee Drew Lee extended his hitting streak to 14 games for rookie-level Bristol with a 1-4 performance.
- Former Campbellsville outfielder Chris Curley slugged his second home run of the season for low A Rome.
- Paducah native Daniel Webb took a no decision for short-season Auburn despite pitching five shutout innings. Webb struck out six and walked three in five innings.
- London native Jon Townsend was 3-4 with a double, RBI and run scored for high A Ranch Cucamonga.
Standout Bowling Green Hot Rods performances from June:
Hitter of the month: C Mark Thomas
- Stats: 27-77 (.351), 2 HR, 13 RBI, 12 R
- Honorable Mention: Tyler Bortnick, Brett Nommensen, Ty Morrison, Ryan Wiegand
Pitcher of the month: LHP Kyle Lobstein
- Stats: 4-0, 1.19 ERA, 27 SO/10 BB, 30.1 IP
- Honorable Mention: Kirby Yates, Alex Koronis, Shane Dyer, Scott Shuman
Richie Rowland; Photo: Campbellsville University
Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:
- Campbellsville University junior catcher Richie Rowland has signed a professional contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a non-drafted free agent, CU reports in a news release. Through his first five games for Rookie Missoula, Rowland is 9-17 (.529) with three RBI and two runs scored.
- Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal reports Louisville Bats reliever Bill Bray is ready to return to the Cincinnati Reds according to Bats manager Rick Sweet.
- Grant also reports Bats left-handed pitcher Phillip Valiquette will accompany first baseman Yonder Alonso as a Bats’ representative to the Futures Game on the World Roster.
- Jason Stella recaps the Bats’ up-and-down first half of the season for the team’s website.
- Bowling Green Hot Rods infielder Tyler Bortnick was named Midwest League hitter of the week for the week ending June 20 after batting .429 with two home runs and six runs scored.
May’s standout performances from the Bowling Green Hot Rods:
Hitter of the month: SS Tyler Bortnick
- Stats: 31-94 (.330), 2 HR, 12 RBI, 18 R, 6 SB
- Honorable Mention: Christopher Murrill, Brett Nommensen, Tyler Morrison
Pitcher of the month: RHP Alexander Colome
- Stats: 4-1, 0.93 ERA, 5 GS, 26 SO, 29 IP
- Honorable Mention: Jason McEachern, Shane Dyer, Kirby Yates, Scott Shuman