Canario, Mervis, and Nwogu Go Yard as Cubs Crush River Bandits 7-2
Davenport, IA - Behind one of their most dominant nights of baseball combined on the mound and at the plate, the South Bend Cubs got back into their six-game series against the Quad Cities River Bandits on Saturday night in a 7-2 victory. The Cubs used three home runs, a
Davenport, IA - Behind one of their most dominant nights of baseball combined on the mound and at the plate, the South Bend Cubs got back into their six-game series against the Quad Cities River Bandits on Saturday night in a 7-2 victory. The Cubs used three home runs, a three hit night from Ed Howard, and a masterful performance on the mound to get the job done.
If South Bend can beat Quad Cities tomorrow, they will split the series three games apiece. But in Saturday’s performance, the Cubs set the tone in a big way as Chris Clarke cruised on the bump. The big right-hander rolled through his first four innings perfectly, as he sent the first 12 he saw packing consecutively.
Through their first three frames at the plate, the Cubs did not manage much either against River Bandits starting Charlie Neuweiler. Making his first start versus South Bend in 2022, Neuweiler saw the Cubs leave four men on base through two innings. In the 3rd, he worked a 1-2-3 quick frame.
That’s when the top of the 4th came along, the inning where the Cubs let loose. The stanza started with Alexander Canario extending his on-base streak by singling, bringing his hot stretch to 15 straight games reaching base. Matt Mervis then shot a double into the left-center field gap to score Canario.
The train continued pushing forward as Jordan Nwogu walked, Ed Howard hammered a triple to the left-center field wall, and then three straight singles from Pablo Aliendo, Luis Verdugo, and Bradlee Beesley. Howard’s triple was the first three-base hit of the year for the Cubs. With four runs in and a commanding lead, lefty Caden Monke entered in place of Neuweiler and sent South Bend down with the bases left loaded.
Thankfully for the Cubs, leaving the bags juiced did not come back to hurt them. Clarke continued his big work and finished in line for the win with five innings of one run baseball and a season high six strikeouts.
Out of the bullpen in piggyback fashion was tall righty Max Bain. The Michigan native continued Clarke’s shutdown work by only giving up one run on a sacrifice fly. With a three inning hold to his credit, Bain did not allow a hit and punched out five batters.
South Bend would add to their big lead in the late innings with three massive home runs. With Modern Woodmen Park on the banks of the Mississippi River, the wind can play a major role in the games in Downtown Davenport. The 7th inning had the Cubs receiving back-to-back home runs for the first time this season. Alexander Canario and Matt Mervis each sent round trippers over the left-center field wall to extend the advantage.
In the 9th, Jordan Nwogu smashed his first Midwest League home run on the hardest hit ball of the weekend. Although the wind was gusting to left, none of the home runs needed the help of the Big Muddy breeze. The Cubs led 7-2 as they went for the win.
In the bottom of the 9th, Eduarniel Nunez struck out two batters and put another zero on the scoreboard. With the win, the Cubs improved to 9-11 on the season and will send lefty Jordan Wicks to the mound on Sunday for his second start of the series. A Sunday matinee duel between the two clubs will begin at 2:00 PM EST.