Midland, MI: The South Bend Cubs pitching staff was strong once again on Tuesday night against the Great Lakes Loons from Dow Diamond. Chicago Cubs number three overall prospect Brailyn Marquez got the start in his 2019 season debut and did not disappoint. The 20-year-old had his fastball touching 98 MPH and struck out seven Loons.
After Marquez departed after 3.2 innings, Jeffrey Passantino entered and continued the solid performance with 3.1 innings of one run ball. Passantino earned his 12th professional win and his first in the 2019 season. Riley McCauley handled the final two frames and sealed the deal in the 6-1 victory.
Overall, the southpaw Marquez and two right handers punched out 13 Loons after South Bend struck out 15 times yesterday. Differently from last night, the Cubs bats came alive early on and gave the starter and bullpen a safety net.
Quickly out of the gates was D.J. Artis, who doubled to start the ballgame down the left field line. He scored a short time after in the 1st inning when Levi Jordan laid a bunt down the third base line. Great Lakes starter Stephen Kolek overthrew first base and Artis trotted home.
Artis doubled twice and finished 2/4 with a walk. Catcher Eric Gonzalez had his best night in a Cubs uniform by going 2/4 with a pair of runs scored and a RBI. The Cubs catcher took multiple foul tips off his body behind the plate, but that did not prevent him from chipping in offensively.
The season high six runs are the most scored by the Cubs since Opening Night at Four Winds Field last week against the West Michigan Whitecaps when they scored five. With the win, South Bend gets back to .500 at 3-3 on the season. They will have the chance to leap above .500 tomorrow in game three of four against Great Lakes.
Opening Night starter Derek Casey is expected to take the ball for South Bend. First pitch from Dow Diamond is set for 6:05 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.