BOWLING GREEN, KY - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scrapped and scraped for two runs in the top of the ninth inning to grab a 5-4 lead over the Bowling Green Hot Rods Thursday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. But, the Hot Rods scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth on a triple by Tommy Coyle to hand Wisconsin a 6-5 defeat. The Rattlers were outhit in the game 14-6. Victor Roache had three of Wisconsin's hits.
Bowling Green (56-39 overall, 18-9 second half) scored first for the second time in the series. Luke Maile singled with two outs in the bottom of the third. Tyler Goedell followed with a triple off the wall in right to score Maile for a 1-0 lead.
Hot Rods starter Dylan Floro retired the first twelve Timber Rattlers batters he faced. Max Walla was the first Wisconsin base runner as he reached on an error to start the fifth. Roache was the first Rattler to collect a hit as he followed with a single. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. An RBI grounder by Garrett Cooper got Walla home with the tying run.
Maile put the Hot Rods back in front in the bottom of the fifth. Leonardo Reginatto singled to start the frame. Maile doubled into the corner in left to drive in Reginatto for a 2-1 lead.
Wisconsin (40-51, 11-15) grabbed their first lead of the series with a pair of runs off Floro in the top of the seventh. Victor Roache destroyed a 2-2 pitch from Floro with one out and none on base to hit his eleventh home run of the season. The ball landed in the grass seating to the left of the batter's eye in center to tie the game 2-2. Mike Garza followed with a single. Cooper doubled down the line in right and Garza chugged around the bases to score the run to put the Rattlers up 3-2.
But, Bowling Green answered with a run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. Reginatto doubled with one out off Preston Gainey. Coyle won a long battle with Gainey as he singled to center on a 3-2 pitch to drive in the tying run.
Patrick Leonard gave the Hot Rods the lead again in the bottom of the eighth. He homered to left with one out and nobody on base. That put Bowling Green up 4-3.
The Rattlers rallied with two runs in the top of the ninth inning to go back in front. Roache singled to start the inning and went to second on a wild pitch. Mike Garza drew a walk and another wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third with no outs. Bowling Green reliever Nick Sawyer got the first out of the inning with a strikeout. Then, walked Tyler Roberts intentionally to set up a potential game ending double play.
Chris McFarland sent a chopper to the second baseman and the Hot Rods got the out at second, but McFarland beat the throw to first and Roache scored to tie the game. Pinch runner Alfredo Rodriguez scored the go ahead run when a throw to first on play at first after a tapper in front of the plate off the bat of Orlando Arcia was wild. The Rattlers took that 5-4 lead to the bottom of the ninth.
Gainey walked Andrew Toles to lead off the bottom of the ninth and the Rattlers went to Jono Armold. Reginatto tried to bunt Toles over against Armold, but fouled off two attempts. He would single to left to put two runners on base for Coyle.
Coyle tried to bunt both runners over, but was unsuccessful each time. He eventually worked the count full. Then, Coyle lined the ball just fair inside the line in right. The ball rolled to the corner as both Toles and Reginatto scored the tying and winning runs for the Hot Rods in their 6-5 win.
Game three of the series at Bowling Green Ballpark is Friday night. Eric Semmelhack (1-4, 4.89) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The Hot Rods have Reinaldo Lopez (4-4, 2.52) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 7:05pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or the IHeartRadio app starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm.
Victor Roache (11th, 0 on in 7th inning off Dylan Floro, 1 out)
Patrick Leonard (7th, 0 on in 8th inning off Preston Gainey, 1 out)
WP: Nick Sawyer (2-2)
LP: Jono Armold (2-2)