Betts Homers Twice, Johnson Is Clutch in 13-Inning Win
Bowling Green, KY - Chris Betts hit two home runs while Kaleo Johnson came up big late in the Bowling Green Hot Rods 8-5 win over the Great Lakes Loons in a 13-inning contest on Thursday night at Dow Diamond. The Hot Rods improve to 8-7 and will continue the series on Friday with a 5:05 PM (CDT) first pitch.
Betts boosted the Hot Rods to a three-run lead with a pair of homers, the first of which was off Loons starter Guillermo Zuniga. The lefty drove a payoff pitch deep over the right-field wall to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead in the second inning. In the seventh, the backstop struck again with Wander Franco on second, bashing his fourth long ball of the season and second of the game to make it a 3-0 ballgame.
In the bottom of the eighth the Loons came within a run against Hot Rods reliever Nick Sprengel. Dillon Paulson worked a lead-off walk and went to second when Luke Heyer singled to center. A balk moved both runners up and Jacob Amaya lofted a sacrifice fly to center, plating Paulson while Heyer advanced to third. Niko Hulsizer grounded into a force out that retired Hunter Feduccia at second, but Heyer scored to make it a 3-2 ballgame with Bowling Green still on top.
Great Lakes forced extra innings in the ninth, plating the tying the game with a run off Nick Padilla out of the bullpen for the Hot Rods. Dan Robinson singled to left and went to second when Leonel Valera walked. After a mound visit, Paulson smacked a double to right, scoring Robinson and tying the game, 3-3.
The Hot Rods broke the tie in the 12th against Loons reliever Justin Hagenman and Joel Inoa. With Connor Hollis starting the frame on second base, Johnson drove a two-strike pitch over the left field wall to give the Hot Rods a 5-3 lead. In the bottom of the frame the Loons tied the game to force a thirteenth inning.
Bryce Brown started the inning on second base with Inoa still on the mound for the Loons and quickly scored with one out when Ford Proctor dumped a full-count pitch into left, giving the Hot Rods a 6-5 edge. Betts walked and a wild pitch moved both runners up a station. With two outs, Johnson drove his second extra-base hit of the game to left, plating both runners and extending the Bowling Green lead to 8-5. Trey Cumbie struck out the side in the bottom of the 13th to secure the victory.
Michael Plassmeyer took a no decision, tossing six scoreless innings while allowing five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Sprengel earned his first hold, throwing two innings while allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and a strikeout. Padilla blew a save in his two-inning appearance, allowing a run on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Cristofer Ogando (1-0) earned the win, holding the Loons to one hit and four walks with two runs (one earned) and two strikeouts. Cumbie earned his first save of the season, tossing a clean inning with three strikeouts.
Notes: Betts has homered four times in the last four days... He leads the team with four... It's the first time in his career he's had a multi-homer game... The four walks Betts was issued are a career-high... His nine total bases are the most by a Hot Rods batter this season... He had his sixth multi-hit game and third multi-RBI game of the season... It's the first time since August 21, 2018 that a Hot Rods batter had a two home-run game... Roberto Hernandez was the last to do it... Bowling Green pitchers tied their season-high in strikeouts as a team with 16... It's the third time this season they've done so... Plassmeyer tied a career-high with six innings of work... He also set a new career-high with seven strikeouts... Bowling Green had 50 at-bats in Thursday Night's game... They left a season-high 18 runners on base... Bowling Green is 3-0 in extra innings this season... They're also 5-0 in series opening games... Johnson had his second multi-hit effort of the season... It was also his second multi-RBI game of the year... His four RBI set a new career-high... Franco had his second multi-hit game of the year... Proctor had his third... The Hot Rods continue their series with Great Lakes on Friday beginning with a 5:05 PM CDT first pitch... The Hot Rods will send RHP Caleb Sampen (1-1, 4.15) to the mound while the Loons will counter with RHP Jeronimo Castro (1-0, 0.00) in the second game of the set... Fans can catch all the action with Shawn Murnin on Willie 107.9 FM, as well as, with their smart phones via the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn Radio app.
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