SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A run-scoring single by Jimmy Allen snapped a tie in the ninth inning and the Loons escaped Four Winds Field with a 4-3 win over the South Bend Cubs on Tuesday afternoon.
The game began at 10:35 a.m. and featured three ties and two lead changes with spurts of good pitching throughout. Both starters faced the minimum through three innings.
Faustino Oguisten registered the game's first hit in the top of the fourth, and two batters later, Josmar Cordero roped a double down the left field line as the Loons provided the initial tally for the second time in the series.
South Bend cracked the code against starter Victor Gonzalez one inning later. Gonzalez surrendered three straight hits, including an RBI triple to David Bote, and the Cubs leapfrogged in front 2-1.
Déjà vu struck in the sixth as Cordero's second double to the left field corner again scored Oguisten and squared the score at 2-2. Both Gonzalez and his counterpart on the mound, Erick Leal, left the game midway through the sixth and neither factored into the decision.
The tie lasted until the first pitch of the seventh. Jacob Scavuzzo launched a 92-mph fastball to the concourse in left for his first long ball of the season and the Loons' fifth as a team. The blast left off reliever David Garner, a native of Niles, Michigan and a 2013 seventh-round draft choice out of Michigan State.
Again South Bend came back, this time in the eighth. Charcer Burks singled and stole two bases, which allowed him to score from third when Oguisten muffed a ground ball to his position at short.
Scavuzzo's sizzling bat again provided a spark in the ninth. His triple down the right field line placed the go-ahead run 90-feet from home. Two batters later, Allen made sure did stay stuck on third with a liner into left to give the Loons the 4-3 edge.
Karch Kowalczyk closed out South Bend in the bottom of the ninth and earned his second save while the win went to J.D. Underwood (2-0) who lasted 2.2 innings and allowed one unearned run on one hit with four strikeouts. Lefty Tommy Thorpe (0-2) suffered the loss for South Bend.
With the win, the Loons (12-12) take a series for the first time since their last meeting with South Bend (14-13) April 18-20 and move to 2-1 on their six-game road trip. Great Lakes journeys east to face the Lake County Captains in a three-game series that starts Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Pregame coverage commences at 6 p.m. on ESPN 100.9-FM.
The Loons return to Dow Diamond on Monday, May 11 for a 7:05 p.m. showdown with the Dayton Dragons.
The Great Lakes Loons are a ninth-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. For tickets and more information about the Loons, visit Loons.com, or call 989-837-BALL.