(Asheville, NC) – Henry Wrigley hit a three-run, two-out homer in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday afternoon, propelling the Hot Rods past the Asheville Tourists, 10-8, at McCormick Field. Wrigley’s second long ball of the series ended a long afternoon of back-and-forth, giving Bowling Green a sweep of the three-game series.
Wrigley’s heroics capped off a whale of a weekend for the San Francisco native. He homered on Friday, had three hits on Saturday, and then had the drove in four runs on Sunday. In the series, Wrigley went 6-13 with two homers, three doubles, and six RBI. Both home runs proved to be game-winners as his solo shot in the eighth inning on Friday night provided the margin of victory in a 5-4 win.
The long ball from Wrigley capped off a wild back-and-forth affair that began with the Hot Rods scoring a first-inning run against starter Jonathan Aristil, the third time the Hot Rods opened the scoring in the top of the first in the series. Kyeong Kang picked up his tenth RBI in the frame, forcing in Tim Beckham with runners at first and third to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead.
Asheville came back in the last of the first against Hot Rods righty Shane Dyer (ND). Jordan Pacheco, the league’s second ranked hitter at .330, tripled off the center field wall to tie the game at 1-1. He would follow two batters later on an infield single by Kiel Roling to give the Tourists their first lead of the series.
Bowling Green had an answer, thanks to some shaky Asheville defense in the second inning. With one out, Mike McCormick reached on an error before Isaias Velasquez and Jeremy Beckham singled to load the bases. Justin Reynolds would then tie the game with a fielder’s choice to shortstop, picking up the first of his two RBI on the game. Anthony Scelfo then reached on an error by second baseman Jimmy Cesario, scoring Velasquez to put the Hot Rods back on top 3-2. Reynolds would score next when Tim Beckham singled to center field, picking up his team-high 31st RBI in 2009.
With a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the second, Dyer has more troubles. He hit lead-off man Ryan Peisel before Tyler Massey (3 hits) single to move Peisel to third while taking second base on a throw to third base himself. Beau Seabury delivered a sacrifice fly before Carlos Martinez singled to tie the game at 4-4. Martinez would then come around to score the third run of the inning on a Delta Cleary double to put Asheville back on top 5-4.
The Hot Rods held serve in the top of the third, however, scoring three more runs. After a lead-off error, Wrigley hit his third double of the series to tie the game at 5-5. He would score two batters later on an RBI double by Isaias Velasquez. After a passed ball and a walk, Aristil was lifted from the game for Robinson Fabian. The new right hander allowed an RBI ground out to Reynolds that gave the Hot Rods a 7-5 lead. All seven runs were charged to Aristil, but only two of them were earned thanks to three Asheville errors.
At that point, things settle down. The Hot Rods wouldn’t score from the fourth through the eighth against a trio of Asheville relievers. Dyer ended up going 4.1 innings, allowing five runs, all earned, on a season-high ten hits. He left in the fifth for Jamie Bagley, who gave up a single to load the bases before stranding all three runners when retired the next two batters. Bagley would work two more perfect innings to keep the Hot Rods on top 7-5 entering the bottom of the eighth inning.
That’s when the Tourists made it interesting once again. Bagley allowed a lead-off walk before retiring the next two batters. With two down, he made his only mistake of the game, leaving a pitch up to Cleary, who belted his fourth home run of the season over the right field wall to tie the game at 7. Bagley got out of the inning by retiring Scott Robinson, finishing a season-high 3.2 innings, but he lost the Hot Rods two-run advantage.
The tie was short-lived as the Hot Rods got a one-out double from Tim Beckham, who produced the first four-hit game in team history with his ninth inning base hit off relief pitcher Adam Jorgensen. Beckham’s turn on the bases was short, though, as he was picked off second base by catcher Beau Seabury, leaving Jefferies with no one on and two outs. Jefferies would ultimately work a walk and then moved to third on a single by Kyeong Kang. That’s when Wrigley blasted his homer over the right field wall, breaking the tie and giving the Hot Rods a 10-7 lead.
Josh Satow worked the ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He did allow one run on a double by Ryan Peisel, but he stranded the tying runs at second and third by getting Massey to pop to short and striking out Seabury to end the game. Bagley (1-3) earned the win as he was the pitcher of record by finishing the eighth inning. Jorgensen took the loss, falling to 1-4 for Asheville.
The Hot Rods now come home looking to win their fourth straight as they open a series with the Greenville Drive (Boston Red Sox) on Monday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. RHP Chris Andujar (6-2, 3.02) gets the start against Greenville righty Brock Huntzinger. First pitch is at 7:05 PM CDT. You can follow the action with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com beginning at 6:50 PM CDT.
Monday night is Military Night presented by No. 1 Country Beaver 96.7 FM. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or head to the Hot Rods ticket office at the corner of 8th Avenue and Center Street at Bowling Green Ballpark.