Toledo, OH- The Louisville Bats needed extra frames before finally downing the Toledo Mud Hens 5-3 in 12 innings. Chris Heisey played the role of hero as his two-run double in the 12th gave the Bats the victory. 8,060 patrons at Fifth Third Field saw the Bats increase their lead in the IL West to 7.5 games.
The Bats jumped on the scoreboard early in the top of the first against Hen's starter Eddie Bonine. Drew Stubbs led off the game with a single to center, and one out later Heisey started his damage. He launched his second home run of the season over the left field wall, making the score 2-0.
The Hens were held scoreless against Bats starter Adam Pettyjohn until the fifth. Pettyjohn retired the first two Toledo hitters with relative ease, but then ran into trouble with Max St. Pierre. St. Pierre went deep over the left field wall for his second home run of the year, making the score 2-1.
The Bats got the run back in the very next inning. Adam Rosales started the top of the sixth by drawing a walk. One out later, Drew Sutton singled on a ground ball to left field, moving Rosales to second. Chris Valaika then stepped to the plate and lined a sharp single into center, scoring Rosales, and extending the lead to 3-1.
The Bats were on cruise control and looked to have this one wrapped up until the bullpen struggled in the bottom of the eighth. Federico Baez had come out of the pen to start the eighth inning on the mound for the Bats, and immediately retired the first two batters he faced. Wilkin Ramirez then reached base on an infield single, and put himself in scoring position by stealing second. Mike Hessman came to the plate and lined an RBI single to left, closing the gap to 3-2. Baez exited the game as Jeff Kennard came on to replace him. The first batter Kennard faced, Jeff Larish, laced a single to right field. Toledo shortstop Brent Dlugach then tied the game at three with a double to left, scoring Hessman. It was Kennard's first blown save of the season.
It was a battle of the bullpens until the 12th when the Bats broke through. Corky Miller started the inning off by lining a single to left. After Stubbs sacrificed Miller into scoring position, Darnell McDonald laced a base hit to left, putting runners at first and third with one out. Chris Heisey decided the game had gone on long enough, and drove in both Miller and McDonald with a double to right, making the score its final of 5-3.
Jared Burton (1-0 2.08) recorded his first win of the season in a Bats uniform as he came out of the pen to pitch 1.1 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and recorded two strike outs. Pedro Viola finished up what Burton started by recording the game's final two outs and earning his seventh save of the year.
Toledo reliever Clay Rapada (1-2 3.16) was hit with the loss. He tossed two innings, giving up three hits, and two earned runs. He also walked two and struck out one.
The Bats head home for a three game series against the Columbus Clippers starting tomorrow. Louisville will send LHP Matt Maloney (5-5 2.28) to the mound to face Columbus starter RHP Fausto Carmona (0-0 1.80). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm with fireworks immediately following the game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.