Bowling Green --
Ruben Cardenas homered in a game one win while Jonathan Aranda homered in the second game of a double header as the Hot Rods split the twin bill with a 3-1 win in the first contest and a 6-3 loss in game two. Bowling Green has an overall record of 64-49 and 25-18 heading into the second half ahead of Tuesday's series finale.
In game one, the Hot Rods got on the board against Lansing starter Troy Watson in the third inning. Jordan Qsar led off with a single to right that got through Griffin Conine for an error, allowing Qsar to go to third. With one out, Ford Proctor lined a double to left-center, scoring Qsar to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 edge.
Bowling Green added a run to their lead in the fourth against Watson. Ruben Cardenas led off the inning by blasting the second pitch of his at-bat over the center field wall to extend the Hot Rods lead, 2-0.
Lansing scored on a sacrifice fly in the fifth to make it a 2-1 game, but The Hot Rods tacked on an insurance run in the sixth against Watson. Cardenas led off with a hit-by-pitch and went to second on a wild pitch. Grant Witherspoon doubled to right, scoring Cardenas to give Bowling Green a 3-1 advantage.
Caleb Sampen (9-4) earned a win after allowing one unearned run on eight hits with four strikeouts over six innings. Cristofer Ogando tossed an inning in a save, striking out two.
In game two, the Hot Rods were no-hit until the sixth inning when the bats came alive against Lansing reliever Fitz Stadler who had a 3-0 edge. Osmy Gregorio walked with one out and scored when Jonathan Aranda hit his third homer of the season, cutting the Hot Rods deficit to one. Cardenas reached on an error and came around to score three batters later with two outs thanks to an RBI single from Seaver Whalen to tie the game, 3-3.
The game went to extra innings, but the Lugnuts got to Michael Costanzo out of the bullpen. D.J. Neal began the inning on second and went to third on a bunt-single by Otto Lopez while Lopez went to third on a throwing error by Costanzo to make it a 4-3 game with Neal scoring. Reggie Pruitt followed with a bunt and stole second, but a wild pitch scored both runners, giving Lansing a 6-3 edge. The Hot Rods offense was unable to answer in the bottom of the eighth and fell by the final score of 6-3.
Nathan Witt opened the game, throwing a spotless two innings with two strikeouts in a no decision. Matthew Liberatore allowed an unearned run on a hit with two walks and two strikeouts out of the bullpen. Nick Padilla pitched in relief, allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts. Costanzo (0-1) took the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with two strikeouts over two innings of work.