Hot Rods Ninth-Inning Rally Comes up Short in 5-4 Loss

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WBKO) --- The Bowling Green Hot Rods scored twice in the top of the ninth inning, but left the tying run on base as they fell 5-4 to the South Bend Cubs on Tuesday night. The Hot Rods fell to 34-24 ahead of Wednesday night’s contest, which will get underway with a 6:05 p.m. CDT first pitch.

In the bottom of the second inning, South Bend struck against Hot Rods starter Caleb Sampen. After Jonathan Sierra double on the first pitch of the inning, Tyler Durna followed with a triple to right to bring in the first run of the inning. Brennen Davis followed with an RBI single to center, but Sampen worked out of the inning without any further damage, leaving the bases loaded, but allowing South Bend to take a 2-0 lead.

The score remained the same into the fourth inning. South Bend starter Peyton Remy started his night with 3.1 hitless innings, but the no-hit bid ended abruptly as Kaleo Johnson launched a solo homer to left field, cutting the deficit to 2-1. However, in the bottom of the inning, South Bend got the run back against Sampen on an Eric Gonzalez RBI double to extend the Cubs’ lead back to two runs.

Bowling Green once more cut the deficit in the fifth inning against Remy. Ford Proctor reached on an error to begin the frame, moved to second with two outs, and came home when Beau Brundage doubled to right, trimming South Bend’s lead to 3-2. The Hot Rods followed that in the sixth by putting runners on the corners with one out, but they couldn’t push across the tying run.

The Cubs extended the lead against Sampen in the bottom of the sixth. Durna led off with a double, then scored when Davis launched a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left-center for a two-run homer, pushing the Cubs lead to 5-2.

In the ninth, Bowling Green launched a last-ditch rally against South Bend reliever Jeff Passatino. Johnson led off with his third hit of the night, preceding a Grant Witherspoon single. Proctor followed with a single to right, but Johnson was thrown out at home, while both runners moved into scoring position. Seaver Whalen then beat out a ground ball to short, scoring Witherspoon and putting the tying run on base. After a pitching change, Roberto Alvarez followed with a sacrifice fly off Ethan Roberts to cut the deficit to one run. However, Roberts struck out Beau Brundage to end the game, sending the Hot Rods to a 5-4 defeat.

Sampen (3-3) worked 6.0 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout, taking his third loss. Nick Padilla worked the final 2.0 frames, allowing one hit and striking out four without a run.

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