[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
Mike Sheridan smacked a one-out, two-run walk-off home run into the Asheville bullpen in the bottom of the 12th inning on Saturday night, giving the Hot Rods a come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Tourists at Bowling Green Ballpark. Sheridan’s team-leading eighth homer capped off a night when the Hot Rods (33-36) rallied from a 5-0 deficit over the final two frames to send the game into extra innings. The win is the Hot Rods third in extra innings and gives them a chance to win the series with Asheville heading into the finale on Sunday afternoon.
Sheridan’s blast came with one out after Kyeong Kang grounded out to relief pitcher Tyler Trice, the fifth Asheville pitcher of the night. Jeremy Beckham then worked a walk, laying off several tough pitches to make way for Sheridan, the Koch Air Hottest Hitter of the Game. On the first pitch he saw from Trice, Sheridan lined the game-winner into the right field bullpen, picking up his 27th and 28th RBI of the season.
The home run propelled Bowling Green to victory after Asheville had taken the lead in the top of the 12th inning. With two outs, 3B Ryan Peisel singled to center field, scoring Jordan Pacheco to give Asheville a 6-5 lead against Tyree Hayes. The run was the only blemish on Hayes’ line as he went three innings, working around six hits to earn his fourth win of the season (4-3).
The Hot Rods were able to send it into extra innings thanks to a wild rally over the eighth and ninth innings. Trailing 5-0 inn the eighth, after starter Juan Nicasio departed with seven scoreless frames, the Hot Rods scored three times against Kurt Yacko. The inning started with a walk to Robi Estrada followed by a single to left from Anthony Scelfo. Tim Beckham put the Hot Rods on the board, bringing in Estrada with a base hit to cut the deficit to 5-1. A wild pitch advanced Scelfo to third and Beckham to second, setting the stage for a Jake Jefferies sacrifice fly to make it 5-2. Two batters later Isaias Velasquez single home Beckham to cap off the inning.
In the ninth the Hot Rods added two more runs against Adam Jorgenson. It started with another lead-off walk by Mike McCormick. After a wild pitch, McCormick advanced to third with one out on a single to right field by Estrada. Scelfo then walked to load the bases with one out for the second consecutive night. On Friday, Bowling Green was unable to bridge the gap against Jorgenson but a sac fly from Beckham and a single by Jefferies tied the game at 5-5, giving the Hot Rods their largest come-from-behind victory of the season.
Bowling Green used four pitchers in the game, with Chris Andujar making the start for the injured Joe Cruz. Andujar worked four scoreless frames on just three hits, lowering his ERA to 2.55 in the process. Jamie Bagley came on next, working a scoreless fifth before surrendering two runs in the sixth and another three runs in the seventh. Diego Echeverria then worked the final two frames, allowing just one base runner for his first scoreless appearance in the month of June.
In addition to Sheridan, the Hot Rods got key production from Tim Beckham who picked up a three hit night while driving in his 36th and 37 RBI. Jefferies also had two RBI, surpassing Beckham for the team lead with 38 runs batted in. Velasquez picked up three hits before he was ejected in the top of the tenth inning for arguing a stolen base call with base umpire Chris Graham.
The series and the first half of the season come to an end at Bowling Green Ballpark with game three on Sunday afternoon. The Hot Rods will send RHP Nick Barnese (0-1, 2.70) to the bump against Asheville RHP Dan Houston (2-5, 4.75). First pitch is 1:05 PM CDT. You can follow the action on the radio with Tom Gauthier beginning at 12:50 PM CDT at 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
The Hot Rods will host a Father’s Day picnic on Sunday in the Home Run Grill. After the game, kids 14 & under can run the bases in the Smucker’s Uncrustables Fun Run and then play catch with dad on the field. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or head to the Hot Rods ticket office at the corner of 8th Avenue and Center Street in downtown Bowling Green.