Comstock Park, MI- Seaver Whalen drove in four RBIs and homered in the Bowling Green Hot Rods 9-6 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps on Thursday night. Bowling Green improves to 66-50 overall and 27-14 in the second half ahead of Friday's rubber match to conclude the season series against the Whitecaps beginning with a 6:05 CDT first pitch at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Whitecaps took a three-run lead in the first against Bowling Green's opener Nathan Witt. Wenceel Perez led off with a triple to right and Sam McMillan walked. Riley Greene lifted a sacrifice fly to left, plating Perez to give West Michigan a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Bryant Packard reached on an error and Andre Lipcius walked. Dayton Dugas singled to center, driving home both McMillan and Packard to give West Michigan a 3-0 advantage.
The Hot Rods narrowed the deficit in the second against Whitecaps starter Gio Arriera. Chris Betts worked a one-out walk and Roberto Alvarez singled. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Seaver Whalen's ground-rule double to left center, making it a 3-2 ballgame.
West Michigan added a run in the second against Miller Hogan in his first inning of work out of the bullpen. Zach Malis doubled to right and went to third on a wild pitch. With one out, McMillan hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Malis to extend the Whitecaps lead to 4-2.
Bowling Green tied the game in the top of the fifth against Arriera. Jonathan Aranda led off with a single to center field but didn't stay on base long. Whalen drove a full-count pitch over the left-field wall, tying the game at 4-4. The big-fly was Whalen's third of the season and first game tying homer of 2019.
The Hot Rods took their first lead of the game in the sixth to welcome Jose Vasquez out of the bullpen for the Whitecaps. Jordan Qsar was hit by a pitch and went to third on two wild pitches. Alvarez singled to center, plating Qsar to give the Hot Rods a one-run edge, 5-4.
Bowling Green extended that advantage with another two-run inning in the seventh against Vasquez. With one out Ford Proctor singled and went to third when Grant Witherspoon singled to right and Whitecaps right fielder Parker Meadows committed an error. Witherspoon stole second and both runners scored on Ruben Cardenas' singled to left to extend the Hot Rods lead to 7-4. West Michigan narrowed the gap in the eighth with a run, but the Hot Rods scored two in the top of the ninth to take a 9-5 lead. Riley Greene, the fifth pick in the 2019 draft, hit an inside-the-park home run off the center field wall in the bottom of the ninth, but the Hot Rods held on for their 66th win of the season.
Witt allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits with two walks and a strikeout in a no-decision. Hogan (4-3) tossed six innings in a win, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts. Joel Peguero earned his 10th save of the season after allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout over two innings.
Notes: Peguero's 10th save of the season ties him with Austin Hubbard (2011) for fourth all-time on the single-season saves list in Hot Rods history… Witherspoon has a three-game hit streak… Whalen extended his hit streak to four games… He also had his third multi-RBI game of the year… Two are four-RBI games… It ties a career high, as well… Whalen had his 11th multi-hit game of the season on Thursday… Proctor extended his hit streak to five games… He collected his 30th multi-hit game of the year... Alvarez had his 26th multi-hit game of the season… Witherspoon had his fourth three-hit game of the season and 27th multi-hit game of the year… Cardenas had his 28th multi-hit game of the year… He also logged his 19th multi-RBI game and sixth three-RBI game… The Hot Rods are 11-2 against West Michigan this season… They're 45-43 at night… BG is 27-29 on the road in 2019… The Hot Rods bullpen is 25-24… BG is 46-8 when outhitting their opponent… Bowling Green and West Michigan will conclude their season series on Friday with a 6:05 PM CDT first pitch… The Hot Rods will send RH Alan Strong (7-4, 2.97) to the mound against Whitecaps LH Adam Wolf (3-9, 6.39)… 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 smart phone.
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