Saturday, April 17, 2010
West Michigan Whitecaps 9, Bowling Green Hot Rods 4
Bowling Green, KY – Wilking Rodriguez tied a career-high with nine strikeouts on Friday night, but the Hot Rods couldn’t overcome a lack of clutch hitting in a 9-4, 11-inning loss to the West Michigan Whitecaps (4-5) at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Rodriguez twirled six innings of one-run ball, allowing his only run in the fifth after a long wait while the Hot Rods scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The young right-hander allowed just three hits, walking two along with his nine K’s. Taking out his first two innings last Sunday, Rodriguez has allowed just one run over his last nine innings, surrendering four hits.
The Hot Rods led 4-1 when Rodriguez left after six, thanks to a solo run in the third and the aforementioned three-run fourth. The third inning run scored when Mark Thomas singled to center field, scoring Chris Murrill to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead.
An inning later Dustin Beill, Diogenes Luis, and Murrill all singled to load the bases for Tyler Bortnick. While Bortnick was batting, a wild pitch scored Biell and advanced the other runners 90 feet. Bortnick eventually earned a walk, followed by a strikeout of Brett Nommensen. That’s when Thomas came through again with a bloop single to score Luis. Murrill scored one batter later on a bounce out by Eligio Sonoqui.
The Hot Rods would leave the bases loaded in the inning, something they did twice in the game. All told, Bowling Green left a season-high 15 men on base, going 3-16 with runners in scoring position.
Despite being down and give up base runners, West Michigan stayed with it and began a rally in the top of the seventh. Facing relief pitcher Jake Sullivan, Michael Rockett began the inning with a double. After Sullivan retired the next two batters, he gave up walks to Luis Palacios and Jamie Johnson to load the bases. That was the end for Sullivan, making way for Scott Shuman. The Hot Rods hard-throwing reliever immediately gave up a bases-clearing double to Hernan Perez to tie the game at 4-4.
From there it was a battle of bullpens, with Shuman finishing 2.1 total innings. He gave way to Jairo De La Rosa, who pitched a scoreless tenth. The eleventh, however was a different story, as he gave up a walk and a double to the first two batters, giving the Whitecaps a 5-4 lead. Two batters later, another walk led to back-to-back doubles to break the game open. All told, the Whitecaps scored five runs in the eleventh inning, picking up four hits and a sacrifice bunt.
The Hot Rods finished their first home stand with a 2-4 record, dropping 2 of 3 to both Dayton and West Michigan. They now hit the road for a six-game road trip beginning on Saturday afternoon at Lansing. LHP Kyle Lobstein (0-0, 0.00) gets the ball against Lansing RHP Ryan Tepera (0-0, 8.10). First pitch is at 3:05 PM CDT. You can follow the action with Tom Gauthier beginning at 2:50 PM CDT on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
-- By Doug at 12:48 AM