South Bend, IN – The Bowling Green Hot Rods (71-53, 33-23) rejoined the South Bend Silver Hawks (77-48, 33-23) for a first place tie in the Eastern Division standings after a 7-1 Hot Rods win on Sunday. Bowling Green’s win also ties its four-game set at South Bend with one win apiece. Marty Gantt tied a career high with four runs batted in to pace the Hot Rods offense. Blake Snell earned the win, striking out eight Silver Hawks in his fourth Hot Rod victory.
Bowling Green quickly pounced on Silver Hawks starter Aaron Blair in his team debut. Andrew Toles singled to open the game and stole two bases to get in position for a sac fly from Leonardo Reginatto that scored the first run. Luke Maile followed with a single and came in from second after Gantt put a single in center field, giving the Hot Rods a 2-0 edge.
South Bend was collared by Snell for three innings until scoring in the fourth. The Silver Hawks had the bases loaded with no outs before Mike Lang flied out to right field. Michael Perez drew a bases-loaded walk to score Brandon Drury and cut the difference to 2-1. However, Snell answered with back-to-back strikeouts which closed the inning and kept the Hot Rods ahead.
In the final two innings, the Hot Rods added to their lead to pull away for the victory. One-out singles by Toles, Justin O’Conner, and Reginatto set up a golden scoring opportunity. Maile hit into a fielder’s choice that brought Toles in while Reginatto was forced out at second base. Following a walk to Tommy Coyle, Gantt cleared the bases with a fly ball to the left field wall. Gantt’s hit went off the top of the wall and was initially ruled a home run before being changed to triple that gave the Hot Rods a 6-1 lead. Brandon Martin increased the lead in the ninth inning with a solo home run.
Relief pitchers Andrew Hanse and Marcus Jensen combined for four scoreless innings behind Snell that finished the contest. Hanse and Jensen scattered six Silver Hawks on base to protect the Hot Rods victory.
Bowling Green will continue its four-game series at South Bend on Monday at 6:05 PM CDT. Hot Rods LHP Kevin Brandt (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled to face Silver Hawks RHP Blake Perry (7-5, 4.22). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will open the broadcast at 5:35 PM CDT on the Forever Communications Pregame Show on the Hot Rods Radio Network (1340 “The Ticket” WBGN-AM and 1340wbgn.com).
A six-game homestand for the Hot Rods will start on Wednesday, August 21 against the West Michigan Whitecaps, featuring an IGA All-You-Can-East Wednesday buffet. The upcoming homestand also includes Thrifty Thursday on August 22 courtesy of All-Hit WUHU 107 and Beaver 96.7, Postgame Fireworks on August 24 sponsored by WBKO, and Feed Your Face Day on August 25. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit BGHotRods.com or call (270) 901-2121.