By Zane Miller
In the 12-season long history of the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the team has gone 2 for 2 in championship finals appearances, to go along with making eight postseason appearances in total. As of this writing, Bowling Green’s best regular season record came in 2021 at 82-36, while their worst came in 2010 at 61-78. These are the top five single seasons by starting pitchers that I felt have stood out the most during the team history of the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
In total, the team has won two championships, coming in 2018 and 2021.
5. Adrian Navas (2017)
After being signed as an amateur free agent by the Rays in 2013, Navas went 12-9 with the Hot Rods in 2017, allowing 18 home runs, 66 earned runs and 117 hits in 125 and two-thirds innings for a 4.73 ERA, as Bowling Green claimed a 72-65 record to reach the 2017 playoffs, however they would again be swept by the TinCaps two games to none in the first round.
4. George Jensen (2011)
The 1,391st overall pick of the 2010 draft by the Rays scored a 13-4 record with the Hot Rods during the 2011 season, giving up 16 home runs, 58 earned runs and 137 hits in 122 innings pitched, holding an ERA of 4.28. Bowling Green took a 77-63 record to qualify for the 2011 playoffs, losing to the Fort Wayne TinCaps two games to none in the first round.
3. Parker Markel (2012)
The 1,181st overall pick of the 2010 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays picked up an 11-5 record and pitched 120 innings with the Hot Rods in 2012, allowing six home runs, 47 earned runs and 117 hits to take a 3.52 ERA. With this showing, Bowling Green went 80-60 on the year to reach the 2012 playoffs, although they would fall to the Lake County Captains two games to none in the first round. Markel would make his major league debut with the Seattle Mariners in 2019, in what has so far been his only MLB season.
2. Chris Pike (2015)
The 277th overall pick of the 2014 draft by the Rays went 10-7 with the Hot Rods in 2015, going 129 and a third innings while allowing eight home runs, 45 earned runs and 124 hits for a 3.13 ERA. Despite this, Bowling Green finished the 2015 season with a 69-69 record, missing the 2015 playoffs.
1. Alan Strong (2019)
The 300th overall pick of the 2018 draft by the Rays earned a 10-4 record with the Hot Rods in 2019, giving up 12 home runs, 40 earned runs and 114 hits in 126 and a third innings to take a 2.85 ERA. Bowling Green took an 81-58 record to make the 2019 playoffs, being swept by the South Bend Cubs two games to none in the first round.
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