[Via email from Hot Rods Director of Broadcast and Media Relations Tom Gauthier.]
Midland, MI – Chris Murrill had three hits and drove in two runs on Thursday afternoon, but the Hot Rods couldn’t overcome a 4-0 deficit, falling 7-5 to the Great Lakes Loons. Bowling Green scored three runs in the ninth inning but left the tying runs at second and third, ultimately losing the series 2-1 before beginning a weekend series at Dayton.
Murrill’s big day began with a base hit in the first followed by another hit in the third. But, in both of those innings he was retired trying to advance to second base.
He came up again in the sixth as part of a key rally with the Hot Rods trailing 4-0. Ty Morrison led off with a triple before Murrill drew a walk to put runners at first and third. Tyler Bortnick came through next with a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 4-1. Murrill would then steal two bases, advancing all the way to third, before he scored on Mark Thomas’ single to center field to cut the lead in half at 4-2.
That would be all the Hot Rods would get until the top of the ninth inning, trailing 7-2 by that point. Dustin Biell began the inning with a strikeout against closer Luis Vasquez. Kyle Spraker followed with a double off the left field wall. After Vasquez struck out Luis, Morrison came up and was hit by a pitch to bring up Murrill once again. A wild pitch advanced both runners ninety feet before Murrill bounced a single into center, bringing both runners the rest of the way home to cut the lead down to 7-4.
Bowling Green wasn’t done at that point in the ninth. Bortnick followed with a double to shallow left field, pushing Murrill to third and bringing up the tying run in Wiegand. The Hot Rods first baseman drew a walk to load the bases for Thomas. While the catcher was at the plate, Vasquez uncorked a wild pitch to score Murrill and put the tying runs at second and third. But Vasquez induced Thomas into a game-ending groundout to shortstop to give the Loons a 7-5 win.
Jason McEachern took the loss for Bowling Green despite working six innings for the third straight outing. He allowed four runs on nine hits while tying a career-high with seven strikeouts. The Loons got their runs against him on an Angelo Songco second inning double. They added three more in the fourth thanks to Songco’s two-run triple followed by a run-scoring double from Jaime Ortiz.
Matt Stabelfeld worked the final two innings for the Hot Rods, giving up three runs in the eighth. The lefty allowed a home run to Jerry Sands, the league leader with 14, before a pair of walks, a single, and a sacrifice fly led to two more runs.
Matt Magill worked five scoreless for the Loons victory, his first win of the season. The righty has now worked 10 innings and surrendered just two runs to Bowling Green.
Murrill finished the day 3-3 with a pair of walks, reaching base in all five plate appearances. He drove in two runs, scored twice, and stole his 13th and 14th bases of the season.
The Hot Rods now head to Dayton, OH, to begin a five-game, four-day series with the Dragons (Cincinnati Reds). RHP Wilking Rodriguez (1-3, 3.83) gets the ball in game one on Friday night against Dayton RHP Jacob Johnson (0-3, 5.40). First pitch is at 6:07 PM CDT. You can follow the game with Tom Gauthier beginning at 5:50 PM CDT on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.