South Bend, IN – Patrick Leonard’s go-ahead single in the top of the ninth gave the Bowling Green Hot Rods (73-53, 35-23) a 3-2 victory over the South Bend Silver Hawks (77-50, 33-25) on Tuesday. Leonard was hitless in his previous nine plate appearances before bringing in the winning run. Reinaldo Lopez tied a career high with seven solid innings pitched in a no-decision while Andrew Toles added to his team record for triples in the win.
Toles opened the contest with his franchise-best 15th triple of the season. From third base, Toles scored on a wild pitch from Braden Shipley for a 1-0 Hot Rods edge in the first inning. Bowling Green scored another run in the second to extend its lead. Tyler Goeddel led off the frame with a double and trotted in from third during a Brandon Martin triple.
The Silver Hawks did not do much against Lopez over seven innings played. South Bend scored in the second after Alex Glenn hit a two-out double and was driven in by a single from Breland Almadova. In the fifth inning, Rudy Flores hit a line drive to right-center field with the bases loaded that was caught on a running grab by Joey Rickard. Lopez shut down the Silver Hawks after that play, including a three-strikeout effort in the sixth.
South Bend broke through for the game-tying run in the eighth inning. Brandon Drury greeted Hot Rods reliever Stone Speer with a single. Following a Flores strikeout, Roidany Aguila hit a single to move Drury to second base. Glenn collected a single of his own that scored Drury to tie the game and allowed Aguila and Glenn to end the play in scoring position. Speer loaded the bases with an intentional walk but coaxed a foul pop out and a fair fly out to leave the game at a 2-2 tie.
In the ninth inning, each team had a good scoring opportunity. Tommy Coyle led off the frame with a single against Silver Hawks pitcher Jimmie Sherfy. Coyle stole second base and stayed at second through two outs until Leonard came through with an RBI single that put Bowling Green ahead 3-2. In the bottom of the ninth, South Bend had the tying and winning runs on base with only one out. Flores grounded to Coyle, who started a double play to Martin and Leonard to wrap up the triumph.