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Cubs Cruise and Sweep Doubleheader over Chiefs 3-2, 4-0

Jordan Wicks, Chris Clarke, Max Bain, and Riley Martin combine to allow just two runs in 14 innings
(Courtney Mammon)
May 7, 2022

South Bend, IN – The South Bend Cubs came into a Saturday doubleheader at Four Winds Field against the Peoria Chiefs with three wins already under their belt from earlier this week. They needed just one victory in the two seven-inning clashes to win the series versus Peoria. But they

South Bend, IN – The South Bend Cubs came into a Saturday doubleheader at Four Winds Field against the Peoria Chiefs with three wins already under their belt from earlier this week. They needed just one victory in the two seven-inning clashes to win the series versus Peoria. But they will now go for a six-game whitewash of the Chiefs on Sunday afternoon after sweeping the twin bill by finals of 3-2 and 4-0.

Game one began with Chicago Cubs 2022 first-round pick Jordan Wicks taking the rubber on a bright, sunny, and warm day in Downtown South Bend. Wicks worked at his quickest and most efficient pace so far this season by tossing four innings, while allowing four hits and two un-earned runs. South Bend made two errors in game one, and that kept Wicks without an earned run.

The two Peoria runs were both plated in the top of the 3rd, and that was all they would get over the course of Saturday afternoon.

The Cubs answered back in the bottom of the 3rd with a Bradlee Beesley RBI base hit up the middle. For Beesley, he extended his hitting streak to six straight games on the play that brought in Scott McKeon. In total on the day, McKeon played in both games and was on base for a combined three times.

Getting game one to within a run set the table for the Cubs to take the lead in the bottom of the 4th after Wicks posted another zero on the scoreboard in his final frame of work. South Bend slapped two runs on the board in inning number 4 as that was all they needed to hold on and take a big win.

Matt Mervis extended his hitting streak to 12 games, then was immediately tripled home by second baseman Fabian Pertuz. Pertuz hammered a ball on a line drive to straightaway center field and the ball deflected off of Matt Chamberlain’s mitt as he was running towards the wall. Later, Owen Caissie slapped a ground ball over to first base. The hard grounder was ruled an error on Jacob Buchberger, and Pertuz jogged home.

Out of the bullpen in game one, Chris Clarke was the piggyback reliever behind Wicks, and he dominated through Chiefs hitters. Earning his third win in the last month, Clarke went the final three innings in scoreless fashion, while walking none and punching out four.

The sun remained shining and fans continued to pack in to Four Winds Field as the doubleheader went into its 30-minute pause. In preparation for game two, the Cubs inserted shortstop Ed Howard into the order, as well as Jake Washer, Edmond Americaan, Jordan Nwogu, and Pablo Aliendo. Only playing the first game on Saturday was Alexander Canario, who saw his 20-game on base streak come to an end. It was the second longest active streak in the Midwest League to date.

Big right-hander Max Bain took the mound for his second start of the season. Bain had been primarily throwing in piggyback relief fashion behind other starters, but he got the ball on Saturday evening from manager Lance Rymel.

After falling behind in game one, it was the Cubs on the board first in game two after Bain worked two straight scoreless innings to get things rolling. South Bend gave their starter the lead in the bottom of the 3rd as they faced off against 2021 St. Louis Cardinals first-round pick Michael McGreevy on the mound.

McGreevy ran into trouble when he gave up a lead-off double to Americaan to begin the 3rd. After the righty recorded two straight outs, the Cubs came through. McKeon, who was moved from the nine-spot to lead-off from game one to game two, cracked his second hit against McGreevy to bring in Americaan. Later in the inning, Yohendrick Pinango, who celebrated his 20th birthday with the fellow birthday boy Canario, rifled a single into right field and plated McKeon for a 2-0 lead.

Those two runs of support gave Bain plenty of wiggle room. He worked around a pair of walks in the top of the 4th to leave with four total innings of shutout work. The first man out of the Cubs bullpen in game two was lefty Riley Martin as he made his Four Winds Field debut. Martin picked up right where Bain left off to lead the Cubs to another victory.

In three innings, the southpaw Martin put away five strikeouts with no walks or runs allowed. Through the entire twin bill, the Cubs showed they can win games in multiple ways, as they only had three hits in game one, then 11 in game two. McGreevy was the only pitcher to throw for the Chiefs in the second game, and he allowed all 11 knocks. Saturday’s Cubs pitchers combined to strike out 16 Peoria hitters.

To update the status of Cubs streaks from game two, Mervis brought his hitting streak to 13 straight games. That 13-gamer is the highest of any player in High-A baseball. Howard now has a seven-game hitting streak and ten-game on base streak. Washer has gotten a hit in eight games in a row.

With the sweep of the doubleheader and two wins in their back pocket, the Cubs can go for the ultra-rare six-game series sweep tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 PM. South Bend is now 14-12 on the season and above .500 for the first time this year.

In tomorrow’s finale, lefty DJ Herz is expected to take the rubber, while being opposed by righty Gordon Graceffo. That was the same pitching match-up from game one of the series on Tuesday.