The Bowling Green Hot Rods are the Midwest League Eastern Division second-half champions after beating South Bend (Ind.) 5-4 Saturday in South Bend.
Ford Proctor’s RBI double in the ninth inning proved to be the difference, but Bowling Green (81-56 overall, 42-25 second half) had to survive a Cubs comeback attempt in the ninth to secure the victory and the division title.
The Hot Rods built a 3-0 lead, but South Bend was eventually able to rally to tie the score 3-all after five.
Chris Betts, who homered earlier in the game, pushed the Hot Rods back in front 4-3 with an RBI single in the sixth, but South Bend was able to scratch across a run and tie it again in the seventh.
Proctor’s hit gave Bowling Green the lead again in the ninth, but Joel Peguero had to escape a two-on, two-out jam in the bottom of the inning to close it out for his 16th save of the season.
Nathan Witt earned the win in relief for the Hot Rods.
Betts had two of Bowling Green’s four hits.
The series continues at 1:05 p.m. CDT Sunday. Neither team has announced a starter for Sunday’s game.