Chris Clarke Earns First Career Victory in South Bend’s Inaugural Win over Sky Carp
SOUTH BEND — The South Bend Cubs knew they needed a big performance at home after dropping their last series on the road against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. With a masterful pitching performance from starter Chris Clarke, piggyback reliever Max Bain, and Hunter Bigge in the 9th, the Cubs shut out the Beloit Sky Carp by a final of 3-0.
The game was the first time that Beloit and South Bend had clashed since the Beloit organization changed its name from Snappers to Sky Carp. Taking just two hours and two minutes, the Cubs played another fast-paced game after taking just 1 hour and 59 minutes to complete a win against Fort Wayne last week.
Although the pitch clock is accelerating games, it did not fluster any South Bend hurlers on Tuesday night. Clark, the Cub’s Opening Day starter, got things going with five innings of shutout baseball. The tall right-hander struck out four batters and looked locked in for his third start of the season. It was also the former USC Trojan’s first career victory in professional baseball.
Out of the bullpen first was big righty Max Bain. Like Clarke, Bain had also pitched in two games on the campaign. He also put away his most dominant performance to date, finishing with three innings of hitless baseball and three strikeouts.
Clarke and Bain were backed up offensively too, as Alexander Canario was credited with the game-winning hit all the way back in the bottom of the 1st inning. Canario now has ripped in six RBI in his last six games. On a lofted line drive up the middle, Canario brought Fabian Pertuz home for a 1-0 advantage.
Pertuz continues his success at the plate as well, as he hammered another double on Tuesday to give him hits in five straight games.
In the 8th, base knocks from Luis Verdugo, Jordan Nwogu, Pertuz, and Yohendrick Pinango scored a pair and South Bend took a couple of insurance runs into the 9th inning.
Pitching the 9th was hard-throwing right-hander Hunter Bigge. The Harvard man had no problem in the last stanza, as he sent the Sky Carp down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts.
With the win, the Cubs now sit at 4-6 on the season and are expected to send 2021 Chicago Cubs first-round pick Jordan Wicks to the mound on Wednesday night. Game two of six against Beloit is slated to begin at 7:05 PM.