Down 6-4 at the stretch, the Bowling Green Hot Rods not only faced elimination in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs, but also the prospect of seeing the franchise’s postseason record dropping to 0-8.
They managed to avoid both scenarios Friday, rallying for four runs in the bottom of the 7th inning and then holding on to their two-run lead for an 8-6 victory over the Great Lakes Loons. While they still might not avoid elimination — that remains to be seen when a decisive Game 3 is played at Bowling Green Ballpark on Saturday — at least they put an end to the franchise’s postseason losing streak.
On that topic, check out this tidbit from the Bowling Green Daily News:
After seven postseason games of futility, the Hot Rods finally broke through with a victory on Friday. Bowling Green hadn’t just lost games in the postseason, it never was much of a factor, with Friday’s 8-6 lead after seven innings the first time in 70 innings since the franchise moved to BG in 2009 that the Hot Rods held a lead at the end of an inning in the postseason.
In addition to a much-needed offensive outburst — especially after losing the series opener 15-1 — the Hot Rods got a great pitching performance from reliever Yoel Espinal, who earned the win after allowing only three hits in five scoreless innings. He struck out six and walked none.
Logan Landon and Darien Tubbs each hit a two-run homer for the Loons in the 3rd inning.
The winner of Saturday’s Loons-Hot Rods game will advance to the Eastern Division finals to face either the South Bend Cubs or the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Cubs-Whitecaps game was suspended with no outs in the top of the 8th inning because of rain, with the score tied 3-3. The Whitecaps will have a runner at first base when play resumes Saturday.