BOWLING GREEN, KY - A tenth-inning, game-winning RBI-single by infielder Wander Franco sent the West Michigan Whitecaps to a 7-6 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Friday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The Whitecaps took leads of 3-0 in the fourth and 5-3 in the sixth inning of the contest, but quickly relinquished those advantages in the ensuing halves of those frames.
The Whitecaps scored the first run on Friday's game when Chris Proctor reached on a first-inning throwing error to take a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, Hector Martinez blasted his first home run of the season with a two-run shot to take a 3-0 advantage, but the Hot Rods quickly tied the game. A two-run single by Chris Betts and a wild pitch in the bottom of the frame allowed Bowling Green to knot the score at three. In the sixth, Ulrich Bojarski lined a two-run homer down the left field line to take a 5-3 edge, but again, the lead didn't manage to last through the bottom of the frame. A Kaleo Johnson run-scoring double preceded to a call of catcher's interference to score a run and help the Hot Rods take a 6-5 lead.
Down to their final strike in the ninth, infielder Zach Malis kept the 'Caps hope alive with a game-tying RBI-single to even the score at six. In the tenth, the 'Caps managed to get runner Jose King to third base with one out before Proctor struck out to cap a seven-pitch at-bat. On the first pitch of the bottom of the inning, Franco grounded a game-winning RBI-single to left field to send the Whitecaps to their fourth-straight loss.
Whitecaps starting pitcher Hugh Smith allowed three runs (one earned) on one hit in five innings while striking out four in taking a no-decision, while reliever Jose Vasquez (1-3) allowed the winning run to score out of the bullpen in taking his third loss. Joel Peguero (1-0) blew the save but picked up the win in relief to earn his first victory with Bowling Green. The Hot Rods improve to a 35-26 record with the victory. Bojarski enjoyed a big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two runs, a double and home run with two RBI, while Wenceel Perez went 2-for-4 with two doubles in a losing cause. The loss drops the Whitecaps record to 20-41 - their highest loss total through the first 61 games of any half in franchise history.
The Whitecaps continue this four-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Saturday at 7:35 pm. Pitcher Gio Arriera gets the start for West Michigan against Shane Baz for Bowling Green. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 7:25 pm. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2019 home contest by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.