(Eastlake, OH) - The South Bend Cubs (17-23, 56-53) came out swinging on Thursday night and never let up. After a 33-minute rain delay pushed back the start of the ballgame, South Bend amassed 15 hits and rode behind strong pitching to earn a 10-2 victory over the Lake County Captains (18-21, 45-63) at Classic Park.
The Cubs scored early against Lake County starter Luis Jimenez . Luis Ayala led off the game with a single and stole second base. After Jimenez retired Aramis Ademan on a fly out, D.J. Wilson lifted an opposite-field, two-run home run to left field to give the Cubs a 2-0 advantage.
Jimenez silenced the Cubs' offense over the next four innings, but South Bend starter Bryan Hudson had a stranglehold on the Captains' offense. The Cubs' left-hander pitched five shutout innings and only allowed two hits, both of which were by Mitch Longo . Hudson struck out three Captains and did not walk a batter to help the Cubs hold onto their 2-0 lead.
South Bend pulled away down the stretch with runs in each of the final four innings. In the sixth inning, Chris Pieters led off with a double against reliever Ryan Colegate and Kevonte Mitchell singled home Pieters to push South Bend's lead to 3-0. The following inning, with Colegate still on the mound, Andruw Monasterio began the frame with a bunt single and Ayala followed with a single. Colegate retired Ademan on a ground out for the first out, but Wilson singled to score Monasterio and give the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
The Cubs added six more runs over two innings against Henry Martinez . Martinez hit Mitchell with a pitch to begin the eighth and then gave up a one-out single to Yeiler Peguero. Monasterio doubled in Mitchell and Ayala hit a sacrifice fly to plate Peguero, extending South Bend's lead to 6-0.
An error opened the door for four unearned Cubs runs in the top of the ninth. After a throwing error by Elvis Perez allowed Wilson to reach base to start the inning, Pieters doubled to knock in Wilson. Martinez issued a one-out walk to Mitchell and a single to Alberto Mineo that loaded the bases. Peguero then hit a grounder to second base that could have turned into a double play, but took a high hop and hit Jorma Rodriguez in the chest. Rodriguez settled for the out at first base while Pieters scored from third. Monasterio followed with a two-run single to give the Cubs a 10-0 advantage.
Lake County scratched across a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth. Conner Capel tallied a one-out single against reliever Chad Hockin. Longo then singled with two outs, bringing Li-Jen Chu to the plate. Chu doubled down the right field line to score Capel. Longo then scored on a wild pitch, but Hockin struck out Tapia to end the game.
Hudson (6-3) took home the victory for the Cubs. Jimenez (2-5) suffered the loss after allowing two runs in four innings. Jimenez allowed three hits, walked two and struck out two.
Despite the loss, Longo had a successful day at the plate. The Captains' right fielder went 3-for-3 with a double, two singles, a walk and a run scored.
Lake County has lost the first two games of its three-game series against South Bend and will finish the series on Friday night. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 7:00 PM.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Mini ticket plans for the 2017 season are still available for great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.