Lansing, MI – In a game that featured 13 innings, 28 combined runs, 39 combined hits, and four hours and 11 minutes, the Bowling Green Hot Rods (57-44) beat the Lansing Lugnuts (66-34) 15-13 on Wednesday at Cooley Law School Stadium. Ryan Brett delivered a bloop, two-run double in the top of the 13th inning to cap the longest game of the season for the Hot Rods. The lengthy win breaks the Hot Rods modest two-game losing streak.
After taking an early lead on Jake Hager two-run home run, the Hot Rods saw the Lugnuts grab a commanding lead. Lansing scored eight times off of Hot Rods starter Ryan Carpenter and chased him after 4.2 innings. Despite trailing 8-2, however, the Hot Rods were able to rally and tie the score 8-8 heading to the bottom of the eighth.
Lansing scored an unearned run off of Jason McEachern in the bottom of the eighth inning and looked poised to win the game in the top of the ninth inning. However, the Hot Rods scored four times to take a commanding lead to the bottom of the frame. Bowling Green tied the game on a Drew Vettleson ground out, but the big blow in the top of the ninth was a two-run triple from Josh Sale.
Austin Hubbard, the Hot Rods closer and team-leader in saves, then came on to save the three-run ball game in the bottom of the ninth. But, the first two Lugnuts singled, and then Kevin Patterson ripped a no-doubt home run to right field. The game was tied at 9-9 and stayed that way until the top of the 11th.
In the top half of the eleventh, the Hot Rods scored what looked to be another potential winning run when Juniel Querecuto scampered home after Lansing’s K.C. Hobson dropped a throw at first base. But, again, in the bottom half of the eleventh, the Lugnuts answered. This time, Querecuto was on the other end of an important error when his throw sailed high at first base with two outs. The next batter, Shane Opitz, tripled deep in the gap in right-centerfield, and the game was tied.
The Hot Rods, though, scored two times in the top of the 13th inning to break yet another tie. With the bases loaded and two outs, Ryan Brett blooped a double into right field that was just out of reach of Lansing right fielder Chris Hawkins. Two runs scored on the play, and Andrew Bellatti, who had been pitching since the 11th, hurled a perfect 13th to preserve the win for Bowling Green.
The win marks the first time this season that the Hot Rods won a game on the road when trailing after nine innings. It is also the team’s first extra-inning road win. The victory also clinches a winning record in the season series with Lansing, a team that entered play on Wednesday 33 games over .500.