Mervis Crushes Two Home Runs as Cubs Claw Back to Top Sky Carp 7-5
South Bend, IN – For a second time in their six-game series against the Beloit Sky Carp, South Bend has come back to beat Beloit by a final of 7-5. Saturday afternoon was different than Wednesday, however, as the Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the 8th on
South Bend, IN – For a second time in their six-game series against the Beloit Sky Carp, South Bend has come back to beat Beloit by a final of 7-5. Saturday afternoon was different than Wednesday, however, as the Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the 8th on a Matt Mervis three-run homer. His second big fly on the day, Mervis and company led South Bend to the 7-5 victory.
With warm, sunny, and breezy conditions at Four Winds Field on Saturday, it was evident early that game five of the series between the two clubs would be a hitter’s day. Hard throwing right-hander Daniel Palencia took the hill for South Bend in his home debut. With multiple extra base hits in the first two innings, it was Beloit taking the early lead.
Starting with a Victor Mesa Jr. RBI double, then a Tanner Allen home run off of Palencia, then another RBI double from Nasim Nunez, it was very quickly a 5-0 Beloit lead. The flame throwing righty was able to work a scoreless 3rd inning and departed with four strikeouts and just one walk.
South Bend began their initial comeback in the 3rd inning too, as Mervis belted his first bomb of the day after Alexander Canario doubled in Ed Howard to put South Bend on the board. Mervis took an outside pitch and lofted one down the left field line that carried with the wind gusting out, making it a 5-3 game.
Mervis’ previous season high for RBI in a game was three, set in Fort Wayne. Today, he finished with five. There was a long road leading up to the game winning home run in the 8th though.
Credit Manuel Espinoza for a job well done out of the Cubs bullpen. As South Bend trailed, Espinoza kept them in the game. In long relief fashion, Espinoza did not give up a run in five innings of work. He surrendered just one hit, walked a batter, and struck out six. His ERA is down to 1.50.
That set the table for what was to come. The long ball was all over the box score for the Cubs. With his first professional home run hammered into left center, Scott McKeon put South Bend within a run on a solo shot in the 7th.
An inning later, against right-hander Robinson Martinez, Mervis came up with two men on and one out. Owen Caissie and Yohendrick Pinango already singled earlier in the inning, and Mervis drove a ball to the right-center field alley, clearing the wall over the bridge between the video board and batter’s eye. It gave the Cubs their 7-5 lead.
In the 9th, Davis Bradshaw began the last stanza with a sharp single against Hunter Bigge. Marcus Chiu also singled, but Bigge shut the door and earned his second save of the season.
With the win, the Cubs improve to 6-8 and will go for the series victory tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 PM. Beloit can potentially split the series three wins apiece, if they’re able to earn one in the ‘W’ column. Big right-hander Max Bain is the expected starter for South Bend in what will be his first start of the year.