Beloit, WI - Following their dominant series win over the Peoria Chiefs last week, the Midwest League West Division featured the South Bend Cubs at the top with a 3-0 start to the second half. Joining them for a tie of first place were both the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and
Beloit, WI - Following their dominant series win over the Peoria Chiefs last week, the Midwest League West Division featured the South Bend Cubs at the top with a 3-0 start to the second half. Joining them for a tie of first place were both the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Beloit Sky Carp. This week, the Cubs are in Beloit for a key six-game series. In the series opener on Tuesday, South Bend powered themselves to a 6-3 victory.
Daniel Palencia started game one for the Cubs as he tried to repeat his best start of the season last time out against Peoria in which he went five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. Before he even threw his first pitch of the game on Tuesday night, he was presented with run support.
Against big right-hander Chris Mokma, the Cubs had a monstrous first inning from an extra base hit perspective. Pete Crow-Armstrong led off the game with a triple that just missed leaving the yard in dead-center field. With the lead-off man immediately at third base, Yeison Santana stepped in next and brought PCA in with a RBI groundout. Later in the first, Yohendrick Pinango crushed his own triple down the left field line. The next batter was Jake Washer, who pounded his eighth homer of the year out of the ballpark for a 3-0 Cubs advantage.The Cubs crushed three triples in the game. Before tonight, they had just nine on the season.
Palencia worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the 1st inning, but used many pitches to work through he 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings. Beloit left 13 total men on base in the game, and went just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Nearly every time the Sky Carp gained some momentum, it was taken away by South Bend pitching.
With his pitch count rising due to working out of jams, Palencia exited the game after 4.2 shutout innings with only two hits allowed, three walks, and five strikeouts. The last batter he faced was Nasim Nunez with two outs in the 4th, but Palencia walked him. He settled for a job well done on the mound and a no-decision.
The first man out of the Cubs bullpen was lefty Adam Lasky. He needed only one pitch to get out of the 4th. In the top of the 5th, the eventual game winning run came across the plate on Santana’s second RBI of the game. Luis Verdugo scored on Santana’s single after he led off the inning with a double.
Laskey, who had an ERA of 0.00 with the Low-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans when he was promoted to South Bend, allowed his first runs of the season in the bottom of the 6th. Beloit got themselves back in the game and scored three runs off of Laskey, cutting it to a 4-3 game. Even with the adversity, Laskey shut the door and struck out Jose Salas with the bases loaded to get out of the stanza.
That would not be the first time there was some serious drama, however. After Gabriel Jaramillo walked Tanner Allen and when Nasim Nunez reached on an error, Hunter Bigge was brought into the game during the bottom of the 8th. Again, with the bases loaded, Beloit left the bags full when Bigge stuck out Cody Morissette. The Sky Carp left the maximum in key situations twice.
In the 9th, Bigge surrendered a double to Victor Mesa Jr., but sent the next three down in order to earn the four-out save. With the victory, the Cubs will now turn to lefty Jordan Wicks on the mound Wednesday night. First pitch from ABC Supply Stadium is scheduled for 7:35 PM EST.