[Via email from Tom Gauthier, Bowling Green's Broadcaster.]
Bowling Green, KY – Mayo Acosta singled home two runs in the eighth inning, erasing a 4-2 deficit for the Hot Rods on Thursday night. Unfortunately, the Hot Rods couldn’t muster enough offense over the next few innings, resulting in a 5-4, 13-inning loss to Lansing to begin a four-game series.
Lansing’s winning rally began against Matt Stabelfeld with a lead-off double from Mark Sobolewski in the top of the 13th. Sobolewski was replaced by a pinch-runner, Oliver Dominguez, who took third on a ground out from Brad McElroy. Dominguez would score a few pitches later when Balbino Fuenmayor lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Lugnuts on top 5-4.
The Hot Rods stranded the winning run at first base in the last of the 13th on a night when they had to play from behind for nearly the entire game. The Lugnuts grabbed the game’s first run in the top of the third inning on a two-out double by Ryan Schimpf.
The Hot Rods answered back with a home run in the bottom of the third by Tyler Bortnick. With two outs, Chris Murrill reached on a bunt and took second when the throw from the catcher sailed down the right field line. A few pitches later Bortnick homered into the Home Run Grill to give the Hot Rods a 2-1 lead. The home run was Bortnick’s first of the season and came on his 106th at-bat of the season.
Lansing came right back in the fourth and grabbed two more runs to take a lead they would never relinquish against Jason McEachern. The lead-off man Brad McElroy struck out, but reached first base on a wild pitch. After McElroy stole second base, he took third two batters later on a single by Brad Glenn. With runners at the corners, A.J. Jimenez doubled into the right field corner, scoring McElroy and advancing Glenn to third. After a ground out, Kenny Wilson singled to left field to drive home Glenn and give the Lugnuts the lead. On the play, Morrison threw out Jimenez at home plate keeping it a one-run game at 3-2.
Lansing added another run against McEachern in the top of the sixth. With two down, Glenn reached on an error by Robi Estrada. Jimenez followed with another double, this one to the gap in right-center field that scored Glenn from first base and bumped the Lansing lead to 4-2.
The Hot Rods began their final, game-tying rally in the eighth inning against relief pitcher Matt Wright, who had pitched a scoreless seventh in relief of starter Chad Jenkins (ND). Chris Murrill singled to center field, ending the night for Wright. Dustin Antolin came on and gave up a single to Bortnick and a walk to Wiegand to load the bases with nobody out.
Mark Thomas, playing his first game since coming off the disabled list with a concussion, bounced a ball to third base. Mark Sobolewski threw home and Murrill was called out at the plate for the first out of the inning. That wouldn’t end the rally, however, as Acosta bounced one through the middle into center field, scoring Bortnick and Wiegand to tie the game at 4-4. On the play, pinch-runner Diogenes Luis was thrown out at third for the inning’s second out. The frame ended a few pitches later when Dustin Biell struck out looking.
From the ninth through the 12th, both teams had stellar pitching out of the bullpen. Scott Shuman pitched three scoreless innings while Stabelfeld had a pair of scoreless frames before he allowed the winning run in the 13th. Antonlin worked a scoreless ninth for Lansing followed by three shutout innings from Nestor Molina, who earned the win.
The series continues with game two on Friday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. RHP Wilking Rodriguez (1-2, 3.71) takes the ball against Lansing RHP Ryan Tepera (2-1, 4.31). Friday night is the second edition of the Hot Rods Family Fireworks Series presented by Clean Freaks, Lawless Wiesemann Orthodontics, Home-Towne Suites, and The Gables/Western Place. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or call 270.901.2121.
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.