Lansing, MI: At the end of their biggest road trip to date in the 2018 season, the South Bend Cubs were presented with the opportunity to win their series over the already playoff-bound Lansing Lugnuts on Monday night. With a win in the series finale by a final of 5-3, the Cubs finish their six game trip with a record of 4-2.
Overall, the Cubs will return home with a record of 45-43. In order to finish with the victory on Monday, it took a comeback effort and solid pitching over a power-packed Lansing batting order. After jumping out to the early 2-0 lead, the Lugnuts looked to be within reach of finishing the series in a two game apiece tie.
But a quick response from Jimmy Gonzalez's squad quickly gave South Bend new life. In the 3rd, the Cubs put themselves within a run after Zach Davis doubled into left field. That scored Austin Filiere after he got the inning going with a single off of starter Graham Spraker.
South Bend took their first lead in the top of the 4th when they plated two runs. With RBI from Filiere and Hughes, the Cubs tied the game at 3-3. Filiere finished the night with a 3/4 game along with a run and RBI.
The game sat deadlocked at 3-3 until the top of the 8th. South Bend's pitching allowed the Cubs to hang in the game as they did not give up a run after the bottom of the 3rd inning. Starter Ricky Tyler Thomas finished with another quality start. In six innings, he allowed just three runs with no walks and five strikeouts.
Out of the bullpen, both relievers were perfect. In three combined innings, righties Enrique De Los Rios and Ben Hecht did not give up a hit or a run. They also did not walk a batter. De Los Rios finished with the win after his two scoreless frames. Hecht earned his fourth save of the year with a perfect 9th.
The save situation for Hecht was set up with South Bend's game winning runs in the 8th. The first four batters of the inning reached. Rafael Narea got it started with a single, followed by a stolen base. A RBI single by Miguel Amaya brought Narea home to put the Cubs in front 4-3. Amaya's single went down as the game winning hit. Austin Upshaw scored South Bend's fifth run on a groundout.
With Hecht's scoreless 9th inning, the Cubs took the series three games to one. Now with 45 overall wins, they will head home to begin a six game homestand where they will take on the Beloit Snappers in the first of three games on Wednesday night. First pitch from Four Winds Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.