South Bend, IN - A three-run rally in the top of the ninth inning broke a 1-1 tie and sent the Bowling Green Hot Rods (78-55, 40-25) to a 4-1 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks (78-56, 34-31) Wednesday night at Coveleski Stadium. The win, accompanied with a Dayton loss, clinches the team a berth in the Midwest League postseason for the third consecutive season.
The Hot Rods will host either Fort Wayne or South Bend at Bowling Green Ballpark on Wednesday, September 4 at 7:05 PM in Game 1 of the Midwest League Eastern Division Quarterfinals. It will be the first time in franchise history that the Hot Rods will start a playoff series at home.
Patrick Leonard had the go-ahead single with one out in the top of the ninth inning to break the 1-1 tie. It occurred with one out and runners at first and second base. Joey Rickard added insurance with a two-out single up-the-middle to add another tally. On the very same play, Leonard scampered home on a wild throw from the outfield to pad the Hot Rods lead.
The Hot Rods fell behind early on a solo home run by South Bend's Michael Perez. The longball that occurred in the second inning began the top of the second inning and stood as the only offense in the game until the top of the seventh inning. Hot Rods starter Jeff Ames allowed the home run and finished with a no decision with five innings of one-run ball.
Bowling Green loaded the bases in the top of the seventh inning and tied the score on an Andrew Toles sacrifice fly to left field. Stellar relief work from Bruedlin Suero (three scoreless innings) sent the Hot Rods and Silver Hawks tied at 1-1 tied heading to the top of the ninth inning.
After acquiring the lead in the top of the ninth inning, Andrew Hanse worked a scoreless ninth inning to send the Hot Rods back to the playoffs.
The final road series of the 2013 regular season continues from Coveleski Stadium in South Bend on Thursday night at 6:05 PM CDT. Bowling Green will give the start to LHP Jordan Harrison (4-2, 2.75), while South Bend will send RHP Aaron Blair (0-1, 3.75) to the mound. Coverage begins at 5:35 PM CDT with Hank Fuerst leading the Forever Communications Pregame Show on the Hot Rods Radio Network (1340 "The Ticket" WBGN-AM, 1340wbgn.com, and on the TuneIn website and app).
Bowling Green's final homestand of the season will begin this Saturday with game one of a three-game series against the Lake County Captains. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM CDT on Pink in the Park Night, featuring a Hot Rods jersey auction with proceeds benefitting BRASS and The Mary Kay Foundation. Saturday's game will be capped by Post-Game Fireworks presented by WBKO. For more information and to secure your tickets, call the Hot Rods Ticket Office at (270) 901-2121.
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