Bowling Green, KY - Marty Gantt's first-inning home run drove the Bowling Green Hot Rods (30-26) to a quick lead prior to a trio of homers for the South Bend Silver Hawks (37-17) that handed the Hot Rods an 8-5 loss on Sunday at Bowling Green Ballpark. Tyler Goeddel also chimed in with one of the five blasts recorded between the two teams. The loss drops Bowling Green to a season-high five-game losing streak.
Gantt found the scoreboard in more ways than one in the opening inning. With two outs and two runners aboard, Gantt sent a pitch from RHP Brad Allen over the right-center field wall and off the video board for a 3-0 lead. It was also the team-high sixth home run of the season for Gantt.
South Bend stormed back with six unanswered runs to take the lead for good. Two runs scored in the third inning before both teams went deep in the fourth. Pedro Ruiz hit his first homer of the year on a go-ahead two-run clout before Breland Almadova had his own two-run shot. Bowling Green answered with their own two-run drive with Tyler Goeddel clearing the right field wall and the rest of the ballpark during the home half of the fourth, cutting the deficit to 6-5.
For the rest of the contest, South Bend protected its lead while Bowling Green could not garner enough offense to complete a comeback. Brandon Drury lifted a solo home run in the seventh followed by a run from Ruiz in the eighth. Before those scores, Justin O'Conner nearly hit a potential go-ahead blast on a deep fly out in the sixth. The Hot Rods also loaded the bases in the seventh but could not push a run across. Patrick Leonard brought in the only late offense on a wild pitch in the final frame.