South Bend, Ind. – Carrying a 7-3 lead into the ninth, it looked like the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) were going to sweep the South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona Diamondbacks). However, a grand slam by Joe Munoz tied the game, and Marty Herum hit a walk-off single, all in the ninth, to salvage the finale for South Bend, 8-7.
Like the first two games of the series, the Hot Rods raced out to an early lead. Oscar Hernandez drew a two-out walk in the first inning, and Ty Young clubbed his eighth home run of the season over the right-field fence to give Bowling Green the 2-0 advantage.
In the second, James Harris would lead off with a double, and later score when a throw got away on an attempted pick-off. The lead was stretched further in the third, as Hernandez led off the frame with a double and scored when Darryl George grounded into a fielder’s choice. Harris would cap the inning with another double to plate Young, and Bowling Green was out to a 5-0 lead.
South Bend would battle, and after Young added a run-scoring single in the fourth, the Silver Hawks would cut the lead to 6-3. However, another double from Harris drove home George after he started the eighth inning with a triple. It pushed the Hot Rods’ lead back to 7-3.
Just three outs away from the sweep, South Bend would rally for the walk-off. Luis Cabrera entered the game to start the ninth, and walked the bases loaded with nobody out. He was replaced, and Munoz hit a grand slam to left field to tie the game with one out. One out later, Jamie Westbrook kept the rally alive with a double, and he would score the winning run on Herum’s single up the middle.
Despite the loss, the Hot Rods took the series and improved their record to 12-5 against the playoff-bound Silver Hawks. Brad Schreiber took the tough-luck loss for Bowling Green, as Silvino Bracho (3-0) worked the ninth inning for South Bend to get the win.
The Hot Rods will travel to Eastlake, Ohio to open a three-game series against the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians) on Friday night, and first pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. CT. The Pepsi Pre-Game Show will begin at 5:45 p.m. CT on the radio home of the Hot Rods, 1340 WBGN – The Ticket. The Hot Rods will return to Bowling Green on Monday, August 4, and tickets are available for the six-game homestand. Fans can logon to BGHotRods.com, call 270-901-2121, or stop by the Bowling Green Ballpark box office for more information.