LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The Louisville Bats (25-36) earned their fifth series win of 2017 with a 5-4 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens (27-32) Saturday evening at Louisville Slugger Field.
Louisville wasted no time getting the early lead, fueled by a leadoff walk to Hernan Iribarren. The next two batters were retired, but Stuart Turner kept the inning alive with the second base on balls of the inning. Sebastian Elizalde sent a grounder through the right side, allowing Iribarren to score from second before the first inning came to an end.
Adding to their lead in the second, Louisville saw three consecutive hits with two down. Zach Vincej picked up a two-out single and came home on Iribarren's second triple of the year off the wall in center field. Darnell Sweeny then singled to bring in Iribarren and the third Louisville run of the contest.
Trailing Louisville, 3-0, Toledo cut the deficit to a single run in the top of the second courtesy of a two-run home run to left field by JaCoby Jones. Phillip Ervin pushed the Louisville advantage back to two runs with a solo shot to the left field bleachers to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
Austin Ross saw his outing end after six innings of work with the Bats leading the Mud Hens, 4-2. The right-hander pitched the 19th quality start of 2017 for Louisville, going six innings deep, allowing six hits, two runs, and a walk to go along with three punch outs.
Neither team scored in the fifth or sixth innings, but a solo home run by Tyler Collins to lead off the top of the seventh cut Louisville's lead back to one, 4-3. The Bats would match the Mud Hens in the bottom half with a run of their own off a wild pitch, allowing Darnell Sweeney to slide in safely, making it a 5-3 ballgame.
A leadoff walk and two singles for the Mud Hens in the top of the eighth again cut the Bats lead down to one run heading to the ninth. Right-hander Louis Coleman was able to secure the final three outs of the contest to earn his second save of the year. Ross picked up his second win of the year, moving his record to 2-1.
Looking for a sweep of Toledo, the Bats will send righty Sal Romano (1-0, 1.00 ERA) for Sunday's series finale. The Mud Hens will start left-hander Chad Bell (1-4, 3.38) with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.