Seaver Whalen tallied four RBIs and homered in the Bowling Green Hot Rods’ 9-6 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps on Thursday night in Comstock Park, Mich.
Bowling Green improved to 66-50 overall and 27-14 in the second half ahead of Friday’s rubber match to conclude the season series against the Whitecaps beginning with a 6:05 p.m. CDT first pitch at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Whitecaps took a three-run lead in the first inning against Bowling Green’s opener Nathan Witt.
The Hot Rods narrowed the deficit in the second against Whitecaps starter Gio Arriera on Whalen’s ground-rule double to left center that plated two runs, making it 3-2.
West Michigan added a run in the second for a 4-2 lead.
Bowling Green tied the game in the top of the fifth against Arriera with Whalen’s third home run of the season, a two-run blast to left-center.
The Hot Rods took their first lead in the sixth. Jordan Qsar was hit by a pitch and went to third on two wild pitches. Roberto Alvarez singled to center, plating Qsar to give the Hot Rods a one-run edge, 5-4.
Bowling Green extended that advantage on a two-run single by Ruben Cardenas in the seventh.
West Michigan narrowed the gap in the eighth with a run, but the Hot Rods scored two in the top of the ninth to take a 9-5 lead. West Michigan’s Riley Greene, the fifth pick in the 2019 draft, hit an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the ninth, but the Hot Rods held on for the win.
Witt allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits with two walks and a strikeout in a no-decision. Hogan (4-3) tossed six innings in a win, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts. Joel Peguero earned his 10th save of the season after allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout over two innings.
The Hot Rods will send RH Alan Strong (7-4, 2.97) to the mound against Whitecaps LH Adam Wolf (3-9, 6.39) on Friday.