South Bend, IN- The Bowling Green Hot Rods lost a tight game in the first round of the Midwest League Quarterfinal to the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday in 2-1 fashion at Four Winds Field. The Hot Rods trail the Cubs 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs as the series heads to Bowling Green Ballpark for game-two on Thursday with a 6:35 PM CDT first pitch.
South Bend jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first against Hot Rods starter Caleb Sampen. Clayton Daniel led off the frame with a walk and stole second base. With two outs, Nelson Maldonado lined a single off Sampen's thigh to score Daniel and give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Sampen remained in the game and Jake Slaughter tripled to the right-field corner to score Maldonado and extend South Bends' lead to 2-0.
The Hot Rods cut the deficit in half in the top of the eighth against South Bend relievers Eugenio Palma and Brian Glowicki. Ford Proctor led off with a double to left and went to third when Osmy Gregorio grounded out to second. Ruben Cardenas and Grant Witherspoon both walked, but a wild pitch scored Proctor to make it a 2-1 game with the Cubs going on to win by the same score. Bowling Green falls behind in the first round of the Midwest League Playoffs to the Cubs, 1-0.
Sampen (0-1) held South Bend to two runs on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in a loss. Matthew Liberatore threw three shutout innings while allowing three hits with three strikeouts.
Notes: Bowling Green must win two consecutive games to advance… Wednesday's loss was the first time BG lost a game to open a postseason series since September 6, 2017 in a 2-1 loss to the Fort Wayne TinCaps… Seaver Whalen had two hits in his first playoff game as a professional… Chris Betts was removed from the game due to injury in the top of the fourth after a single… Wednesday was the third time in franchise history the Hot Rods lost a 2-1 game in the postseason… It's the sixth time in postseason franchise history that BG was held to one run… Wednesday's game marks the first time the Hot Rods and Cubs played in a postseason game against one another… The Hot Rods and Cubs will play the second game of the Midwest League Eastern Division Quarterfinal on Thursday at Bowling Green Ballpark… First pitch will be at 6:35 PM CDT… RH Alan Strong gets the start for the Hot Rods while RH Riley Thompson will head to the mound for the Cubs… Fans can catch all the action with Shawn Murnin on Willie 107.9 FM and the Hot Rods Radio Network on the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps, available for smartphones… The game will also be streamed online via MiLB.TV.
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