Bowling Green, KY - In their second-to-last game of the 2016 regular season, the Bowling Green Hot Rods won their franchise-record #83 game of the year in dramatic fashion by beating the Fort Wayne TinCaps by a score of 6-5 in 11 innings on Sunday night at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Starting a trend of four lead changes by the end of the night, a RBI single by TinCaps third basemen Carlos Belen gave Fort Wayne an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and started off a big night. In the seventh inning, Belen gave the TinCaps their other four runs on a grandslam homer.
For Belen, the five runs batted in were a career-high and were also the most by a single-player against the Hot Rods since Lake County Captains infielder Yonathan Mendoza also drove in five runs on May 31.
Despite the effort by Belen, the Hot Rods began their trek to a comeback in the third inning against TinCaps starter Logan Allen.
Down 1-0, Bowling Green got a bases-clearing, two-out double by catcher Brett Sullivan to go up 3-1. For Sullivan, the runs batted him tied him for the league-lead with Midwest League MVP and South Bend Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez. His 81 RBI are also tied for second-most in a single season in franchise-history with big league Derek Dietrich in 2011.
After Belen hit the grandslam in the seventh inning to give the TinCaps a 5-3, the Hot Rods tied the game back up in the bottom of the frame on a two-out, two-run double by outfielder David Olmedo-Barrera.
The score stayed tied at 5-5 until the eleventh inning until the Hot Rods put the finishing touches on their fifth walkoff victory of the year. In his fourth inning of work on the mound out of the bullpen, TinCaps lefty Elvin Liriano (L, 2-3) walked second basemen Peter Maris and outfielder Landon Cray to put runners on first and second with one out. One batter later, shortstop Jake Cronenworth plated Maris with a RBI single to end the game and give the Hot Rods the win.
For Cronenworth, who paced the offense with three hits, the walkoff was his second of the season in a Hot Rods uniform. He is now 4-for-8 with three walks in two games since his return to the Midwest League.
With the win, the Hot Rods improved to 7-2 in extra innings and are a perfect 4-0 in extra innings at home. It was the Hot Rods fourth walkoff win of the second half.
A night after setting a franchise-record for second half victories, they set team-record with 83 wins for the entire season. They won 82 games in 2013.
The Hot Rods have also set season records for runs scored and road victories.
Bowling Green will finish their record-breaking regular season slate on Monday against the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Monday afternoon. The Hot Rods will send RHP Roel Ramirez to the mound while the TinCaps will counter with RHP Cal Quantrill.
First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.
You can also listen in to Play-by-Play Broadcaster Alex Cohen for all the games on www.bghotrods.com via the MLB TuneIn Radio Application or on 1340 The Ticket in Southcentral Kentucky.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.