Beloit, WI - With ten straight victories in their back pocket, the South Bend Cubs looked to finish off their trip to Wisconsin with a six-game sweep of the Beloit Sky Carp. As winners of the first five games of the series, the Sky Carp offense had been held quiet
Beloit, WI - With ten straight victories in their back pocket, the South Bend Cubs looked to finish off their trip to Wisconsin with a six-game sweep of the Beloit Sky Carp. As winners of the first five games of the series, the Sky Carp offense had been held quiet through the majority of this week. That changed on Sunday as the Beloit bats came alive for eight runs in the first four innings, and they cruised to a 9-3 win.
Manuel Espinoza took the mound for his ninth start of the season, and almost immediately the Sky Carp struck. Cody Morissette had just two hits in the series before he cracked a ball in the air and over the right field wall for a lead-off home run. The next batter was Jose Salas, who singled. Then Victor Mesa Jr. eventually brought in Salas on an RBI sac-fly. Later in the inning, Will Banfield homered, and quickly it was a 3-0 Beloit lead.
The Sky Carp added two runs in the 2nd, and three more runs in the 4th to jump out to a commanding 8-0 lead. Banfield, who had his best game off the series, missed the cycle by only a double. He had a homer, a single, and a triple in the first four innings. He grounded into a double play and flew out in his next two plate appearances to just miss the big feat.
For the Cubs, they played a solid second half of the game. Jackson Rose was the Beloit starter in a spot start role. The intended starter, Zach King, was called up to Double-A just prior to his outing. Rose provided some solid work in three shutout innings.
South Bend plated their first run when BJ Murray brought in his second RBI in as many days on a single scoring Jordan Nwogu. Nwogu, who returned to the South Bend lineup for the first time since June 18, had a three hit night.
Against right-hander Tyler Mitzel, Jake Washer smashed a solo home run to score South Bend’s second run. The big fly, which landed in an almost identical spot from his home run at ABC Supply Stadium on Tuesday, was his ninth of the season. The final Cubs run came around when Nwogu doubled home Yohendrick Pinango.
Out of the bullpen, Sheldon Reed fired 1.1 innings of shutout relief. Yovanny Cruz then took the mound, and worked two full innings for the first time since he arrived in South Bend. Gabriel Jaramillo tossed the bottom of the 8th and gave up a run, along with a strikeout.
The loss was South Bend’s first of the second half, which ended the 10 game winning streak and their 8-0 start to the final dash of the campaign. Since the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Sunday, the Cubs are tied for first with Wisconsin heading into a six-game series at Four Winds Field starting on Monday between the two clubs.
First pitch on the Cubs Independence Day showdown versus the Timber Rattlers is set for 7:05 PM. Chicago Cubs left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly is expected to make a rehab start with South Bend. It will be his second time rehabbing with the South Bend Cubs after appearing for a scoreless inning and striking out the side in August of 2018.