Mud Hens comeback to beat Indians

Toledo Mud Hens
TOLEDO, Ohio – Looking to end a five game losing streak and get back into the win column, the Mud Hens found a way to do just that. After a rough start to the game, things initially looked bleak for the Hens. However, the offense found a way to roar back to life and the bullpen turned in their best performance of the season, locking down the win for the Mud Hens.

The Mud Hens started off the first inning by falling quickly and quietly to Indians starter Cody Ponce, as he retired the side in order. Taking the mound for the second time this season for the Mud Hens was right handed flame thrower Wily Peralta. Peralta struck out the first two batters faced, demonstrating a high velocity fastball with a lot of movement before getting the inning ending groundout.

Going into the second, right fielder Christin Stewart continued last night’s offensive fireworks with a hard hit single deep to right to lead off the inning. Cole Peterson later smacked a blooper into shallow field for a single, advancing Stewart to second. Now with two on and two out the Hens were looking to score first for the first time this season. Unfortunately, a quick groundout determined the Hens scoring first this season would have to wait. Peralta found himself in hot water to start the bottom of the second as the Indians led of the inning with a single to right center. The runner would advance on a wild pitch before the number two hitter walked, putting two on with nobody out. A deep shot to right field put Indianapolis up 3-0. Before the runs were even on the board, the Indians followed it up with a no doubt shot to left center, taking a 4-0 advantage. Still with nobody out, a roped single to right continued the hit parade. Reeling from the quick turn of events, Peralta walked the next batter, ending his night as manager Tom Prince went to the bullpen. Next on the scene to try and stop the bleeding was LHP Locke St. John. St. John punched out the first man faced, finally giving the Hens that elusive first out. A shallow single to center would load the bases and really put pressure on the reliever. A key groundball forced the runner out at second but the Hens defense wasn’t quite quick enough to turn the double play, allowing another runner to score. A quick strikeout ended the inning but the damage had been done as the Hens now found themselves trailing 5-0.

Looking to comeback for the third time this season, the Hens went up to bat in the third hoping to take advantage of Ponce who had been sitting for quite awhile as the Indians offense had rolled. Zack Short would jump start the Hens offense with a sharp single to center. Victor Reyes then stepped in looking to continue his hot start since being optioned to Toledo and hit an absolute missile to right field that nearly left the stadium itself, cutting the Indianapolis lead to 5-2. Ponce then buckled down and finished the inning with relative ease. St. John then went back to work in the bottom of the inning looking to corral the Indy offense. St. John would do just that, preventing anything to come of a lead off walk as he induced a strikeout, flyout, and groundout.

Thankful for the quick defensive inning, the Hens offense went back to trying to chip away at the Indians lead in the fourth. Aderlin Rodriguez led of the inning with a single to third base. Cole Peterson would continue his great offensive night with a another single, this time to left field. With two on and two out, Derek Hill made sure to do his part with runners in scoring position, delivering a single to center field, scoring Rodriguez. With new life breathed into the game, Miguel Del Pozo took over on the mound for St. John. Del Pozo would strike out the lead off hitter but the batter would actually reach as strike three was on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch would advance the lead off man to second. A groundout would provide the first out of the inning but advance the runner to third, putting pressure on the Hens defense that was trying to keep the game within reach. Fortunately, Del Pozo would take care of the jam himself, striking out the next two batters on three pitches apiece.

Going into the fifth inning, Isaac Paredes reached base with an infield single but nothing would come of it as Ponce retired his teammates, although not with ease. Christin Stewart and Victor Reyes both barreled up balls the ended up as outs on the warning track. Del Pozo would once again takeover again on the mound after his impressive fourth inning. After getting two quick flyouts to start the inning, a lone walk was issued before Del Pozo would get the third and final flyout to end the inning.

Looking to capitalize with Ponce being pulled to start the sixth, Daniel Pinero ripped a stand up double down the left field line to lead off the inning. Cole Peterson then collected his third hit of the night with a sharp grounder back up the middle, scoring Pinero and cutting the Indianapolis lead to 5-4. Derek Hill then bunted his way on base for hot hitter Victor Reyes. Reyes continued his assault on Indians pitching, drilling a double into the right center gap, scoring Peterson and Hill and giving the Hens the 6-5 lead. A wild pitch advanced Reyes further but nothing would come of it. Jason Foley would take over in the bottom of the sixth, tasked with protecting the Mud Hens first lead of the night. Foley got two quick groundouts, both to himself, before a fielding error by Peterson allowed the potential game tying run to reach base. A deep flyout to center would end the threat and allow the Hens offense to try and garner some insurance runs.

A broken bat single by Aderlin Rodriguez continued an impressive showing for the now red hot Toledo offense but was later caught stealing for the third out of the seventh inning. Looking to hold the lead and potential win in place, Foley returned to the mound and recorded a quick three pitch strikeout. An infield single was followed up by another strikeout before a second infield single put the potential game tying run in scoring position. Working well under pressure, the Hens defense successfully recorded a groundout ending the threat.

Now in the eighth, the Mud Hens fell quickly, quietly, and in order as the Indians needed just five pitches to retire the side. Making his 2021 Mud Hens debut in the bottom of the eighth, Buck Farmer struck out his first batter faced before getting a quick groundout. With their chances quickly running out, the Indians slipped a single up the middle. The base runner then stole second base and was advanced on a throwing error on Brady Policelli. A pop up to left field ended the threat and sent the game into the ninth, Toledo holding onto a slim 6-5 lead.

Looking for some insurance runs to give the defense a little breathing room, Zack Short led off the inning with a four pitch walk. A fielder’s choice then substituted Short at first base for Victor Reyes. Reyes would proceed to steal second base, putting a runner in scoring position with one out. A diving put out by the Indianapolis defense doubled off Reyes, who had running head start at second, ending the Toledo scoring threat. Next up to pitch for the Hens was Ian Krol who was looking to put finishing touches on a masterful performance by the Toledo bullpen. Krol made quick work of the first two batters faced, getting a groundout and strikeout. A walk extended the inning for the Indians, and a wild pitch advanced the runner further. Another walk made things even more interesting as now the game winning run was on base for Indy. Steadying himself on the mound, Krol was able to produce a quick groundout to short, forcing the runner out at second and securing the Mud Hens win.

What’s Next: The Mud Hens continue their six game road series against the Indianapolis Indians tomorrow with game 4. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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