[Game recap provided by Tom Gauthier of the Bowling Green Hot Rods.]
Lansing, MI – A six-run sixth in game one and a five-run seventh in game two helped lift the Hot Rods to a doubleheader sweep of the Lansing Lugnuts on Tuesday night in Michigan. Kyle Lobstein’s complete game effort highlighted a 6-1 game one triumph before the Hot Rods came-from-behind for a 5-2 win in the nightcap. The victories are their first against Lansing in 2010 and leave the Hot Rods at 5-3 heading into the final two games of their ten-game road trip.
The Hot Rods opened the first game of the doubleheader by doing all their scoring in the aforementioned sixth inning. Trailing 1-0 and facing Lansing starter Matt Fields, Tyler Bortnick drew the game’s first walk. This started the merry-go-round for the Hot Rods as Brett Nommensen singled to right field to put runners at the corners. That brought up Ryan Wiegand, who was hitless in 14 straight at-bats before he blooped a single into left field to plate Bortnick and tie the game at 1-1.
That was all for Fields, who left after 5.1 innings with runners at first and second base. He gave way to Aaron Loup, who immediately surrendered a run-scoring double to Mark Thomas to make it 2-0 and put runners at second and third. After an intentional walk to Gabe Cohen, Kyle Spraker drilled a two-run double off the left field wall to put the Hot Rods up 4-0.
Robi Estrada followed Spraker with a strikeout, just the second out of the inning and the first for Loup. With two down, however, Ty Morrison came up with another clutch hit by lining a single into center field to score two more runs and complete the six-run rally.
Kyle Lobstein did the rest from there, riding the Hot Rods big inning to the first complete game in his career. He lasted all seven innings, scattering eight hits and allowing just one run. His longest outing of the season actually saw him surrender a career-high in hits, but he didn’t walk anyone for just the second time this season. He finished with a season-high six K’s, ending the game on his final punch-out.
Game two started out as a pitcher’s duel, as well, as Alexander Colome and Lansing’s Nestor Molina threw matching zeroes through the first four innings. In the fifth, however, Nestor Molina shut down the Hot Rods in order, 1-2-3; Colome was unable to do the same thing. With one out he walked Eric Eiland to put a runner at first base. Catcher Karim Turkamani followed and worked the count full before belting a 3-2 fast ball over the left field fence for his first professional home run to give Lansing a 2-0 lead.
The game stayed 2-0 until the seventh when Lansing closer Steve Turnbull came into the game. Normally a lock-down closer who was 16-for-16 in save attempts, Turnbull struggled. The inning began with a fly ball down the left field line that bounced behind Eiland. The ball was just fair and bounced away from Eiland, who had fallen to the ground. Wiegand kept running and came all the way around for an inside-the-park home run to immediately cut the deficit in half at 2-1. His fifth home run, and the franchise’s first inside-the-park job, sparked a wild inning.
Gabe Cohen followed with a bunt down the first base line. Turnbull came off the mound and threw high to first base for an error to allow Cohen to reach. After a successful sacrifice from Mayo Acosta, Cohen was at second base for pinch-hitter Brett Nommensen. The outfielder, who had already driven in eight runs on the road trip, came through with a single to center field to score Cohen and tie the game at 2-2.
Manager Brady Williams sent up another pinch-hitter next, with Mark Thomas taking the place of Julio Cedeno. Thomas bounced a single into right field to put runners at first and second. Still with just one out, Ty Morrison followed with a triple to deep center field to plate two more runs and give the Hot Rods a 4-2 lead. A few pitches later Morrison scored to make it 5-2 on Chris Murrill’s sacrifice fly to left field.
All told in the inning the Hot Rod scored five runs, three earned, on four hits and an error. Following up their come-from-behind win last Thursday at Wisconsin, it’s the second time this season the Hot Rods have come from behind to tie it and win in their final at-bat on the road.
Matt Stabelfeld earned the win in place of Colome, who left after five innings. Scott Shuman earned his eighth save by pitching a scoreless ninth, extending his scoreless streak to 12 innings.
Colome took a no-decision, avoiding his fourth straight loss thanks to the Hot Rods rally. He struck out six over five innings with two walks. He allowed just the two runs on four hits in what could be his final start before the all-star break next week.
Offensively, Morrison led the Hot Rods in the doubleheader by picking up base hits in his final four at-bats, driving in four runs and scoring once as well. Murrill had three hits and drove in his 20th run. Wiegand also busted out of his slump with two hits, two RBI, and his fifth homer of the season.
After sweeping the doubleheader, the Hot Rods send LHP Aaron Dott (1-2, 3.22) to the mound against Lansing RHP Dave Sever (1-3, 3.89) on Wednesday night. First pitch is at 6:05 PM CDT. You can follow along the games with Tom Gauthier beginning at 5:50 PM CDT on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
The Hot Rods return home for their final three-game home stand in the first half of the season from June 18-20 against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers). Friday, June 18, is Axle’s Birthday and Mascot Mania with post-game fireworks presented by Atmos Energy. On Saturday the first 1,000 fans 13 & up will receive a Fans Choice Tee courtesy of First Choice Home Medical. Sunday is Father’s Day and kids can run the bases and play catch on the field with dad after the game. To order tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or call the Hot Rods Ticket Office at 270.901.2121.