EASTLAKE, OH – With six games in four days, the South Bend Cubs and Lake County Captains saw plenty of one another over the past week. After splitting two doubleheaders evenly, the Cubs came into Thursday with a chance to win the series.
After South Bend’s rocky 6th inning on the field, the Captains left Classic Park with a 7-0 win.
Left hander Brendon Little pitched tremendously for the first five innings of his start on Thursday afternoon. Winning his previous two starts against Peoria and Clinton, Little was vouching for win number three of the season. In the first five innings, Little struck out three and did not allow a run.
However, in the bottom of the 6th, Lake County broke the game open with five runs, all off of Captains home runs. Tyler Friis and Austen Wade both singled to start the inning. With two runners on, Little fired back with two consecutive outs.
With two gone, Oscar Gonzalez came to the plate. Gonzalez already had hit one home run in the series prior to Thursday. That long ball was a walk off home run off of Brendan King to win game one of the doubleheader on Monday. Gonzalez homered again off of Little to left center field and gave Lake County the 3-0 lead.
The damage was far from done as the next batter Jonathan Laureano singled and ultimately scored on another home run. This one from first baseman Ulysses Cantu. 5-0 Captains after six innings. Little’s great work in the first five frames had been erased.
Overall, the Captains hit three home runs in the series finale. The last came from right fielder Will Benson, who crushed his league leading ninth of the season over the second fence in right field off of left hander Yapson Gomez.
Lake County took the 7-0 lead to the top of the 9th. South Bend did not score and the Cubs lost for the 21st time this season. Their record sits at 17-21 heading into the last leg of the road trip in Fort Wayne.
The story of the game was South Bend left nine runners on base, and and five in scoring position. South Bend had their opportunities, but Lake County pitching prevented them from capitalizing.
The Cubs will hope to rebound tomorrow night when they face the Fort Wayne TinCaps in the first of three games at 7:05 p.m. After the three games against the TinCaps, South Bend will head home on an eight game homestand.