Thomas Makes Guarantee Hold Up, Lifts Hot Rods To Walk-off Win
Bowling Green, KY - Mark Thomas' RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth gave the Hot Rods a 7-6, walk-off victory Friday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. The game, which Hot Rods General Manager Brad Taylor guaranteed a Hot Rods victory, was a back-and-forth affair that saw four ties and three lead changes through its nine innings. Thomas' heroics gave the Hot Rods their fourth walk-off victory and first win on a Friday home game this season.
Bowling Green jumped out to their first lead in the series, scoring twice in the first and the third. In the first inning, Tyler Bortnick doubled with two outs, and Ryan Wiegand singled him home a batter later. After Thomas reached on a single, Gabe Cohen reached on an infield hit that sent him tumbling into River Bandit first baseman Matt Adams. Ryan Wiegand was able to scamper home from second while Adams climbed to his feet at first.
In the third, the Hot Rods put on their running shoes. Robi Estrada walked and Bortnick was hit by a pitch to begin things. Then, Wiegand picked up his second RBI single, scoring Estrada from second. Two batters later, Bortnick scored on a double steal of second and home after River Bandit catcher Ivan Castro threw to second attempting to throw out Wiegand.
After Quad Cities plated a runner in the third off of Hot Rods starter Kyle Lobstein, the River Bandits sent home four runs in the top of the fourth. Edgar Lara hit a solo home run to deep left-center field to lead off the inning. After a single and an Julio Cedeno fielding error, Ted Obregon smashed a three-run dinger to left field to give Quad Cities a 7-6 lead.
The Hot Rods would tie it on another Cohen RBI off an infield hit in the fifth, but Quad Cities would take the lead in the top of the eighth off Scott Shuman on an Adams sacrifice fly to left.
After a scoreless bottom of the eighth and top of the ninth, the scene was set for the bottom of the ninth. Quad Cities would send in closer Aaron Terry, who had converted 12 of 13 save opportunities this season. Ty Morrison would lead off the inning by flying out deep on the warning track in front of the Hot Rods bullpen in left field. A batter later, Cody Rogers would break out of his slump and smash a triple off of the wall in right field. The next batter, Robi Estrada, would lift a soft liner into shallow center field to score Rogers from third.
After a Bortnick intentional pass and a Wiegand strikeout, Mark Thomas would swing at the first pitch and drive a pitch to deep center field over the head of center fielder Ross Smith. Estrada would score easily, and the more than four thousand fans at Bowling Green Ballpark were sent into a frenzy as Thomas was mobbed in the infield. It was the Hot Rods first win at home this season when trailing after eight innings.
The Hot Rods will begin a three game series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Class A Affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Saturday night at 7:05 PM at Bowling Green Ballpark. RHP Albert Suarez (0-3, 5.40) will make his debut as a starter in front of the home crowd. He will face LHP Stephen Locke (5-2, 3.47) of Cedar Rapids.
It's Faith and Family Night presented by Christian Family Radio Saturday night at the ballpark. Enjoy a pre-game concert by Christian recording artist Among the Thirsty and a faith discussion with a few Hot Rods players. All of the action starts when gates open at 6 PM with first pitch following at 7:05 PM. For ticket information, visit www.bghotrods.com, call the Hot Rods Ticket Office at (270) 901-2121 or stop by Bowling Green Ballpark.
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