Ryan Wiegand smacked a first inning run-scoring double on Friday night to give the Hot Rods an early 1-0 lead over the Lansing Lugnuts. That lead was short-lived, however, as Lansing rallied for two runs in the second and another pair in the sixth to beat the Hot Rods, 4-1, in the second game of their series. The loss is the fourth straight overall for Bowling Green and the team’s fifth straight to begin the season against Lansing.
In support of Wilking Rodriguez, Wiegand’s RBI strike gave the Hot Rods a first inning run. Tyler Bortnick began the rally with a sharp single to left field with two outs. A few pitches later, Bortnick was running on the pitch as Wiegand doubled into the right field corner to put Bowling Green on top 1-0. The double was Wiegand’s sixth, driving in his 14th run of the season and his sixth in the month of May.
Lansing came right back against Rodriguez in the top of the second inning, stringing together a few well-placed, but not well-struck, hits. Brad McElroy reached on a dribbler to third before heading to second base on a passed ball. Sean Ochinko then lofted a flare into shallow left to put runners at first and third. Rodriguez then hit Balbino Fuenmayor to load the bases with nobody out.
With the bases loaded, Rodriguez induced Karim Turkamani into a double play, forcing in a run in the process to tie things up at 1-1. Oliver Dominguez followed with a bouncing single down the third base line to plate Ochinko for a 2-1 Lansing lead.
With the lead, starting pitcher Ryan Tepera held things down through the next five innings for Lansing. He struck out seven, allowing one run on four hits through six frames. He gave way to the bullpen in the seventh as a trio of Lansing relievers allowed just one hit and a pair of walks to the Hot Rods down the stretch.
Lansing tacked on two more runs against Rodriguez in the top of the sixth. Ryan Goins doubled to start the inning, taking third when Ryan Schimpf reached on a sacrifice attempt turned into an error by Rodriguez. That brought up Brad Glenn, who tripled to deep center field to plate both runners and give the Lugnuts a 4-1 lead.
Lansing was kept at bay the rest of the way by Jake Sullivan, who worked a scoreless seventh, and Kirby Yates, who struck out three over the final two frames.
The series continues with game three on Saturday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. LHP Kyle Lobstein (1-2, 5.79) takes the ball against Lansing RHP Ryan Shopshire (2-2, 6.21). Saturday night is the annual Scout Sleepover at the ballpark. It is also the Hot Rods and Best Buy Flood Relief Supply Drive to benefit the South Central Kentucky chapter of the American Red Cross. Fans that donate supplies will be entered to win prizes from Best Buy, including gift cards and an Apple iPod Touch. Needed supplies include bottled water, non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, contractor bags, masks, and mops. A complete list of supplies can be found at www.bghotrods.com.
First pitch is at 7:05 PM. You can follow the game with Tom Gauthier and Hank Fuerst beginning at 6:50 PM on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.