Comstock Park, MI – Ryan Brett hit a leadoff homerun on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Ballpark, but the Bowling Green Hot Rods (29-20, 67-52) fell 3-2 to the West Michigan Whitecaps (24-25, 60-59). Jeff Malm’s eighth inning double brought the Hot Rods to within one run, but Nick Avila entered the game to earn his first save in the win for the Whitecaps, who evened the three-game series at one game apiece.
Ryan Brett started the Hot Rods off in the right way on Sunday afternoon when he homered in the first at bat of the contest. It was his first home run since June 4 and his fifth longball of the season. Bowling Green has now scored in the first inning in the first two games of this series. The lead was brief for the Hot Rods on Sunday, though.
The Whitecaps answered right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the first inning. Aaron Westlake singled home Chad Wright with two outs on a sharp ground ball that just got past Hot Rods shortstop Juniel Querecuto. At the end of one inning on Sunday, the game was tied 1-1.
The Whitecaps took their first lead of the series when they scored two times in the bottom of the third inning off of Hot Rods starter Felipe Rivero. Eugenio Suarez singled home Brandon Loy to give the Whitecaps a lead they never surrendered. Westlake then doubled home Suarez from first base to pad the lead with another run.
Bowling Green, looking for a rally, finally got a miniature version of one in the top of the eighth inning. After walks to Querecuto and Drew Vettleson, Jeff Malm laced a one-out double off the wall in right field to score Querecuto from first base. However, Nick Avila entered and struck out Carter and induced a pop out from Josh Sale.
Shay Crawford hurled two 1-2-3 innings in his Hot Rods debut, but the Hot Rods were shut down in the top of the ninth inning in order to drop the 3-2 contest to the Whitecaps. The win for West Michigan breaks a four-game losing streak against the Hot Rods.
The Hot Rods continue their six-game, seven-day road trip on Monday afternoon at 11:00 AM CDT at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, MI. Getting the start for the Hot Rods in the series finale is LHP Ryan Carpenter (10-6, 3.96). The Whitecaps are scheduled to counter with RHP Chad Smith (0-1, 3.60).
Tune in to the game on the flagship station for the Hot Rods Radio Network, WBGN-AM 1340 “The Ticket,” and online at 1340wbgn.com. The Forever Communications Pregame Show with Hank Fuerst begins at 10:40 AM CDT.