South Bend, IN: In their second series of the young 2019 season, the South Bend Cubs and Great Lakes Loons opened their three-game set with a shootout of a game. South Bend used the gaps and corners to their advantage, while Great Lakes lived by the long ball. In the end, the Cubs held on and took game one 6-5.
It was the Niko Hulsizer game for the Loons. The big, powerful right handed hitter out of Morehead State exploded with a three-home run game against the Cubs. All three round trippers were no doubters. Hulsizer hit one off of starter Brailyn Marquez, who pitched four innings of two run baseball. Piggyback starter Faustino Carrera allowed the next two on lasers into left field.
Despite the Hulsizer power, South Bend got their work done with patience and clutch hits. D.J. Artis was on base four total times in the leadoff spot with a pair of hits and two walks. Before exiting the game with an injury, Nelson Velazquez also had two hits. The 20-year-old from Puerto Rico is now hitting .366 on the season.
The difference in the game was Tyler Durna's two doubles. Durna, who now has 14 hits in 11 games, faced a two-strike count in the bottom of the 7th inning. With two runners on, Durna choked up on the bat and fired a ball into left field down the line. The key base hit scored two and put the Cubs up 6-4.
In his best game of the year so far, Delvin Zinn punched two singles into the outfield for a 2/4 night and a run scored.
Great Lakes added one more run, but Ethan Roberts shut the door in the top of the 9th inning with the tying run in scoring position. For the 2018 fourth-round pick Roberts, he picked up his third save of the season. With the victory, the Cubs improve to 6-5 on the season.
South Bend will go for the series win tomorrow night against the Loons with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.
According to multiple sources, Chicago Cubs left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery is expected to make a rehab appearance at Four Winds Field and pitch two innings for the South Bend Cubs tomorrow night.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.