South Bend, IN: The South Bend Cubs looked to have the series opener secured against the Lansing Lugnuts in the top of the 8th inning with trusty reliever Zach Mort on the rubber. Despite the advantage on the mound, the Lugnuts picked up two runs in the final two frames to put away the win. Even though South Bend had a four-run outburst over the course of four innings, Lansing took the game 5-4.
Right handed starter Eury Ramos allowed a first inning home run to catcher Alejandro Kirk and it was a quick 1-0 Lansing lead. The Lugnuts hit their second home run just three innings later off of Ramos with a Jordan Groshans two run round tripper. After the early long balls, Ramos locked in. He finished his night with six complete innings and three strikeouts.
Offensively for South Bend, Christopher Morel tripled into the left center field gap in his Midwest League debut. Morel was sprinting around the second base bag when he turned on the jets to get to third. The triple brought in Nelson Velazquez for South Bend's first run in the 4th.
The Cubs added two more in the bottom of the 5th inning on another triple from Andy Weber. Weber finished the night 2/5 with a pair of RBI. Before tonight, the Cubs did not have a triple on the season. Jonathan Sierra extended his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI single into right field. That tied the game at 3-3.
Mort came into Four Winds Field on Friday with zero runs allowed through two appearances in the Midwest League. A long battle between Groshans and Mort resulted in a walk, although the last pitch appeared to paint the outside corner. Mort fired back with a strikeout over Hagen Danner.
Unfortunately for Mort, a key error was made on a ground ball to second base. The inning continued and a run scored to tie the game at 4-4. Lansing added another run in the top of the 9th to seal the game at 5-4.
The Cubs gave it a shot in the bottom of the 9th, even bringing the game winning run onto first base. Weber struck out to end the game and South Bend lost their fifth game of the season. With the loss, the Cubs will head into game two of the series tomorrow night at 4:05 p.m. Former Louisville Cardinal Riley Thompson will take the mound for South Bend tomorrow night.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.