Leonard’s Game-Winning Hit Closes Comeback Win

By: Chris Kleinhans-Schulz - Hot Rods Media Relations
By: Chris Kleinhans-Schulz - Hot Rods Media Relations

Dayton, OH – The Bowling Green Hot Rods (12-4) overcame a four-run deficit to defeat the Dayton Dragons (5-11) by a final score of 7-5 at Fifth Third Field on Sunday. Bowling Green also wins the three-game set at Dayton by a 2-1 margin. Patrick Leonard gave the Hot Rods the lead with a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning to finish the comeback victory.

In the first inning, Ryan Dunn reached safely with one out on a fielder’s choice and made it to third on a double from Andrew Toles. However, the Hot Rods could not bring those runners in after a pair of strikeouts. Dayton’s Jesse Winker put the Dragons on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer off RHP Eduar Quinonez, giving Dayton a 2-0 lead.

The Hot Rods cut the Dragon lead down to one shortly after falling behind. Toles hit a single to left field early in the third inning. After advancing on a wild pitch and then a stolen base, Toles scored on a sacrifice fly from Luke Maile to put Bowling Green within a run of Dayton. Maile leads the Hot Rods this season with three sacrifice flies.

Dayton responded with a rally in the bottom of the fourth inning. Seth Mejias-Brean, Winker, and Junior Arias loaded the bases to start the frame. All three runners scored between RBI base hits from Tanner Rahier and Wagner Gomez to increase the advantage to 5-1.

Bowling Green tied the game with four runs in the eighth. Patrick Leonard forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk. Tommy Coyle followed with a ground ball to first baseman Robert Ramirez whose throw went past second base on a double play attempt, allowing two runs to score by the end of the play. Marty Gantt evened the contest with a groundout that plated Leonard.

It was Leonard who not only tied the game but collected the deciding hit. Leonard came up in the final inning with the bases loaded and two-out against RHP Alejandro Chacin. With a count of one ball and
two strikes, Leonard singled to the right field and scored Ben Kline and Toles on the game-winning play. In the bottom of the ninth, RHP Marcus Jensen allowed the tying runners aboard, but Brent Peterson hit into a double play to end the contest as Bowling Green secured the win.

Bowling Green will return home to start a three-game series with the Fort Wayne TinCaps on April 21 at 7:05 PM CDT at Bowling Green Ballpark. Hot Rods RHP Taylor Guerrieri (0-0, 0.00) will square off against TinCaps RHP Zach Eflin (0-1, 4.50) in the series opener. Radio coverage starts at 6:35 PM CDT with Hank Fuerst and Chris Kleinhans-Schulz hosting the Forever Communications Pregame Show. Monday’s broadcast can be found on BGHotRods.com, 1340WBGN.com, and 1340 WBGN-AM.

The upcoming nine-game homestand at Bowling Green Ballpark, the longest of the season, includes a Thrifty Thursday/College Night, a Team Magnet Schedule Giveaway presented by First Choice Home Medical, Postgame Fireworks presented by WBKO, the first Faith and Family Night of the season, and much more. Visit BGHotRods.com to order tickets and to check out the full promotional schedule.


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