South Bend, IN - Jordan Harrison allowed just one earned run in a quality start to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods (79-55, 41-25) to a 5-3 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks (78-57, 34-32) on Thursday night at Coveleski Stadium. Tommy Coyle provided the go-ahead, two-run single in the fifth inning to improve the Hot Rods to 24 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history.
The victory also gives the Hot Rods a 1.5 game lead over the South Bend Silver Hawks for the best overall record in the MWL Eastern Division, which could loom large in the playoffs. With four games to play, Bowling Green also owns a 1.5 game lead over the Great Lakes Loons for the MWL Eastern Division Second Half Championship.
The Hot Rods took the early lead using a pair of unearned runs off South Bend starter Aaron Blair. Andrew Toles, who finished the night with two hits to improve his standing as the MWL's leading hitter, reached on an error to begin the game and later scored on a Justin O'Conner groundout. Joey Rickard added a run in the third inning with a sacrifice fly.
South Bend scored three unanswered runs to take a 3-2 lead, but the Hot Rods responded in a big way. With runners on second and third base and two outs in the fifth inning, Coyle singled up-the-middle to put the Hot Rods back on top 4-3. The Hot Rods added a run the very next inning on a South Bend error.
Harrison, who improved to 4-1 as a starter with the Hot Rods this season, escaped a big jam in the sixth inning on his way to the win. Nick Sawyer and Matt Spann finished the final three innings to clinch the Hot Rods a series win in this three-game road set.
The final road series of the 2013 regular season continues from Coveleski Stadium in South Bend on Friday night at 6:35 PM CDT. Bowling Green will give the start to LHP Blake Snell (4-8, 4.14), while South Bend will send RHP Blake Perry (7-7, 4.77) to the mound. Coverage begins at 6:05 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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