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Bats Sweep Twin Bill in Iowa

April 19, 2024 - International League (IL)
Louisville Bats News Release

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Louisville Bats rallied from behind to earn a 9-6 win in the opener before leading from start to finish in the nightcap for a 4-1 victory and a doubleheader sweep over the Iowa Cubs on Friday night at Principal Park, evening the six-game series at two games apiece.

The Bats began the twin bill by taking the lead in the top of the second in the opener on an RBI single from Hernan Perez to plate Rece Hinds, who reached with a two-out single before stealing second and third. The bottom of the inning wasn't as kind for the Bats and starter Tyler Gilbert, as five Iowa runs crossed the plate to put the home team up 5-1.

Louisville got a run back in the top of the third against Iowa starter Julio Teheran on a towering solo home run from Mike Ford, his sixth of the season and third of the series. The Cubs answered the run to maintain the 6-2 lead after four.

In the fifth, the Bats singled their way back into the game. Erik Gonzalez got the inning started with a single to right and Michael Trautwein was hit by a pitch to put two on. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Francisco Urbaez cashed in with a two-run single to right to cut the Iowa lead in half, ending Teheran's Iowa debut after 4.1 innings.

Cubs reliever Richard Lovelady (L, 0-1) retired Ford on a strikeout for the second out. P.J. Higgins and Conner Capel kept the inning going with singles to the outfield to bring in another run. Hinds then hit a slow grounder up the third base line that hugged the foul line for an infield single to load the bases. Alex McGarry hustled to beat a close play at first on a chopper to third for a game-tying infield single. Perez followed with another slow grounder up the third base line that Lovelady struggled with for the third straight infield single of the inning, giving the Bats a 7-6 lead.

Pitching with the lead, Alan Busenitz recorded two strikeouts in a clean bottom of the fifth. The Bats doubled their lead in the sixth when an I-Cubs error allowed Ford to score. Busenitz (W, 1-0) again retired the side in the bottom of the inning.

The Bats capped the scoring in the first game when Perez tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Urbaez. Tony Santillan (S, 3) finished the win and earned the save with a one, two, three bottom of the seventh.

Evan Kravetz (W, 1-0) picked up his first win of the season for Louisville in the opener, allowing a run over 1.2 innings. Hinds went 2-for-4 with a run and two stolen bases. Perez was 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBI, and a run. Ford scored twice while going 2-for-4 including the home run.

In the nightcap, the Bats defense kept the game tied. With leadoff hitter Pete Crow-Armstrong on third and nobody out, Matt Mervis hit a pop up to short. As Gonzalez made the catch backing onto the outfield grass, Crow-Armstrong tried to score from third but was thrown out at the plate by Gonzalez on a close play to help get Bats righty Carson Spiers through the inning.

Louisville's offense went to work in the second as Quincy McAfee led off with a walk, stole second, and came around to score on an RBI single from Gonzalez. An inning later, Hinds reached on a dropped third strike to begin the frame. Ford followed with a rocket double into the right field corner that left his bat at 108.6 miles per hour to bring McAfee all the way home. Ford then caught the defense napping by stealing third without a pitch being thrown. Higgins extended the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single to left.

Spiers was sharp, working around baserunners in each of the first three innings before his first one, two, three frame in the fourth. With two on and two out in the fifth, the I-Cubs brought the tying run to the plate. Brooks Kriske entered and induced a fly out from David Peralta to strand the runners on base.

McAfee continued his strong game in the top of the sixth with a double. Two hitters later, Perez's sacrifice fly gave the Bats a 4-0 lead. B.J. Murray Jr. got Iowa on the board in the sixth with a solo home run. However, the Cubs would get no closer. Kriske (W, 2-0) retired the side to hold the 4-1 lead. Michael Byrne (S, 2) induced a game-ending double play in the seventh to finish the win and earn the save, completing the doubleheader sweep.

In the nightcap, Ford went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored. McAfee doubled and scored twice. Gonzalez and Higgins each also went 2-for-3 with a double. The back-to-back wins are the first for the Bats since the first two games of the season from March 29-30.

The Bats (9-10) and I-Cubs (11-8) continue their series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch at Principal Park is scheduled for 4:08 p.m. Nick Curran will be on the call for 1450/96.1 WXVW.

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