SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Loons shrugged off an early 3-0 deficit on Monday night at Four Winds Field, and thanks in large part to a three-run fourth inning, overtook the South Bend Cubs 5-4 for a series-opening win to start a three-game road trip.
The Loons (4-7) big fourth inning was punctuated by a two-run home run by lefty Luis Paz against South Bend (5-6) righty starter, Tyson Miller (L, 0-1). Paz, a late addition to the lineup, notched his first home run of the season, and gave the Loons a lead they would not relinquish. The homer was a summation of an inning that began with three straight singles to load the bases with no outs. Moises Perez grounded into a double play prior to Paz' at-bat.
The outburst picked up Loons right-handed starting pitcher Jordan Sheffield, who allowed a home run to his first batter faced,-righty Zack Short-and also allowed a run on a balk.
Great Lakes did not afford South Bend much comfort after the latter built an early 3-0 lead. Lefty Saige Jenco got the Loons on the board in the top of the third inning with a triple to right-center field. On the relay throw from center, South Bend second baseman Yeiler Peguero (pronounced: yay-lair puh-gair-oh) threw the ball into the third-base camera well, and Jenco scored on the little league home run.
The Loons have now hit three triples in two games; they had not hit a triple through their first nine games of the season.
Both teams exchanged runs in the eighth inning. After a South Bend error on first baseman Wladimir Galindo kept the inning alive, Moises Perez single to right field scored Keibert Ruiz. It was a run the Loons were thankful to have when two South Bend doubles off lefty reliever Christian Stolo made it a one-run game again.
Righty Sven Schueller emerged from the left-field bullpen and retired the side in order, sealing the Loons win with a strikeout of Short. It was Schueller's second career save and first with the Loons. Fellow righty Parker Curry (W, 1-0) pitched valiantly in relief of Sheffield, and although he committed two throwing errors, the rookie allowed two hits and one walk through 3.2 innings.
The Loons return to Four Winds Field for game two of their series at South Bend on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT with pregame starting a half-hour prior to first pitch. Lefty Leo Crawford (0-0, 1.23) starts for the Loons against South Bend righty Duncan Robinson (1-1, 1.08).
The 2016 Midwest League Champions and hosts of the 2017 MWL All-Star Game presented by GoGreat.com have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team's inception in 2007. For tickets and more information about the Great Lakes Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.