South Bend, IN: Down 7-0 after just three innings of play, the South Bend Cubs ran into early trouble on Sunday afternoon. However, late inning heroics led the Cubs to a comeback that left them just short of securing a series win.
Right hander Erich Uelmen took the ball today for his South Bend Cubs debut looking to pick up his first Midwest League win. After two quick innings to start, including a 1-2-3 2nd inning, Uelmen took the mound for his third inning of work. He did not make it out of the inning. West Michigan's bats came alive early in the 3rd and Elvis Diaz came in for relief. The Whitecaps saw the ball equally well off of Diaz and at the end of the inning led by seven.
After adding another run in the 5th inning, the Whitecaps had a strong 8-0 lead with time narrowing down for the Cubs. They got a break on a line drive hit by Jared Young passed the diving first baseman Jordan Pearce. Rafael Narea and Zach Davis scored on the play, cutting the Whitecaps lead to six.
No runs were scored until the 8th inning, when the Cubs bats eventually woke up. Led by Young and Miguel Amaya, the Cubs scored five runs in the 8th. Amaya hit the Cubs first run of 2018 on long, deep drive in left center that was blasted near the Tiki Hut in the deep left field concourse.
Young continued his career day as Sunday marked the first time in his career that he had recorded four hits. He was on base a total of five times, while also picking up a walk. The Cubs batted around the order in the inning. They were down just a run heading to the 9th.
Relievers Ben Hecht and Brian Glowicki each tossed two scoreless innings of relief to keep South Bend within striking distance.
Heading to the bottom of the 9th, they had Young, Amaya, and Michael Cruz heading to the plate. By no surprise, Young reached base and set up for Amaya to potentially win the game on one swing of the bat. However, West Michigan closer Wladimir Pinto struck out both Amaya and Cruz. They were not able to bring Young home, thus losing by a final of 8-7.
South Bend's only win in the series came on Saturday where they beat West Michigan 1-0. They will stay put at home for the next four days as they open a fresh four game series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods beginning on Monday. Cory Abbott is scheduled to start game one for the Cubs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.