Midland, MI – Justin O’Conner put a bunt up the first base line on a safety squeeze to score Ryan Dunn for the first of two runs in the eighth inning as the Bowling Green Hot Rods (9-3) defeated the Great Lakes Loons (5-5) with a 2-0 shutout at Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan. Andrew Toles led the Bowling Green offense with three hits and Hot Rods pitchers combined for a one-hitter.
Bowling Green RHP Jeff Ames and Great Lakes LHP Miguel Sulbaran were locked in a pitchers’ duel at the start of the contest. The two hurlers combined for 11 strikeouts and only four hits allowed over the first five innings. Ames tied a professional-high with eight strikeouts, including three straight that retired the side in the fourth.
The eighth inning was the decisive frame for Bowling Green. Ryan Dunn ripped a one-out single off Great Lakes reliever Jonathan Martinez and advanced to third base on a pair of errors by Loons infielder Paul Hoenecke that also allowed Joey Rickard to reach safely. Dunn scored on a bunt from O’Conner for the game’s first run. Rickard added some insurance, coming in from third on a triple by Toles. With five triples this year, Toles continues to lead all of affiliated baseball.
Jose Molina, who replaced Ames in the sixth inning, kept the Loons from scoring in the eighth inning. Ryan Garton followed with a scoreless ninth to finish the win. Ames, Molina, and Garton combined for 11 strikeouts and surrendered only one hit and one walk in the shutout victory. Molina pitched three scoreless, no-hit innings to earn his second victory.