South Bend starter Randy Rodriguez was spectacular on Saturday night, tossing a season high 8.1 innings of one run ball in leading the Silver Hawks to a 3-1 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. With the win, Rodriguez snaps a personal six game losing streak and helps the Silver Hawks to a 6-2 record through eight games of this current 10 game road trip.
Rodriguez (WP, 2-7) had thrown just 77 pitches through eight shutout innings, allowing just five hits while striking out four and walking no one. The right hander had faced just three batters over the minimum of 24 through eight innings, as he had two runners erased on double plays.
Rodriguez was given a chance to take the mound in the ninth for a complete game shutout. Unfortunately, Rodriguez was only able to get one out before loading the bases and turning the ball over to the bullpen.
Closer T.J. Hose (SV, 9) entered the game, and hit the first batter he faced, forcing in a run to make it a 3-1 ballgame. Hose bounced back to strike out the next hitter, and then induced a ground ball from John Delaney to end the game. Fittingly, Nelson Gomez had to dig the throw out of the dirt on the final play, his fifth dig of the night as he was a huge aid to his teammates.
South Bend chased Wisconsin starter Evan Frederickson (LP, 3-5) from the game in the third inning, scoring three times on four hits. Chris Davis started the rally with a double, and moved to third on a single by Jake Elmore. Reynaldo Navarro followed with a RBI double for the 1-0 lead. Two outs later, Gomez hit the third double of the inning, scoring both Elmore and Navarro for the 3-0 edge.
As good as Rodriguez was on the mound, he still got some great defensive help from his teammate Gomez at first base. On four occasions through the first six innings, Gomez dug a low throw out of the dirt, saving errors by his infield teammates and keeping Rodriguez’s great night in tact.
Gomez had two hits on the night for South Bend as well, with Elmore tallying three singles, but Saturday was mostly about Rodriguez and his performance on the mound.