South Bend, IN – The cardiac Cubs did it again. Trailing 7-2 in the sixth inning, South Bend rallied for seven unanswered to end the game, capped off by Matt Mervis’ second homer of the game, a walk-off two-run rocket that left the bat at 105 mph and cleared the
South Bend, IN – The cardiac Cubs did it again. Trailing 7-2 in the sixth inning, South Bend rallied for seven unanswered to end the game, capped off by Matt Mervis’ second homer of the game, a walk-off two-run rocket that left the bat at 105 mph and cleared the wall in right.
Four Winds Field magic, it just continues.
Mervis late game heroics, it just continues.
The win was the Cubs seventh in a row and ninth straight at home. For the second series opener in a row South Bend rallied from at least a four-run deficit and then walked off with a victory.
Mervis undoubtedly uncoiled the biggest swing of the game, but trailing 7-2 in the sixth inning, Owen Caissie catapulted the Cubs back into the game with a towering grand slam to right with two outs off TinCaps reliever Nick Thwaits. The homer, Caissie’s first in South Bend, jolted life into the Tuesday crowd of 4,592.
Kohl Franklin got the start on the hill and Fort Wayne got to him early. Corey Rosier led off the game with a walk, promptly stole second, and then scored on a Robert Hassell III RBI double. Joshua Mears, who came in tied for the league-lead with 8 homers, followed suit with another double that scored Hassell. Two batters later Angel Solarte doubled in Mears and with just one out recorded in the first inning, Fort Wayne led 3-0.
In the second inning Mervis belted his first homer of the night, a solo-shot to right. The former Duke Blue Devil saw his 13-game hitting streak end on Sunday and responded with a 3-for-4 night, two homers, and three RBI hits all together. Tuesday night was his second multi-homer game of the 2022 season.
A Mervis RBI single the following frame brought the Cubs within a run, trailing 3-2.
But Fort Wayne seized back all the momentum with four unanswered runs. A two-out, two-RBI single from Rosier in the fourth inning off Joe Nahas restored the TinCaps three-run cushion and a two-run homer from Jack Stronach, his second of the season, made it 7-2.
South Bend’s sixth inning rally began rather innocuously with one out and no one on base. Mervis got plunked by a pitch that skimmed his thigh, Jake Washer walked and Fabian Pertuz blooped a hit into shallow center. That set the table for the 19-year-old Caissie who uncorked the grand slam that brought the Cubs within one.
In the eighth inning Washer extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single to start the frame. Bradlee Beesley pinch ran for him and stole second. On the steal the ball got passed catcher Brandon Valenzuela, Beesley took a wide turn around second and turned on the breaks, but it was too late. Valenzuela tossed a strike to second base and got Beesley in a rundown, however the throw to third was missed and Beesley stood now 90 feet away from tying the game.
With two outs Luis Verdugo singled into center, scoring Beesley and tying the game.
From there it was all Matt Mervis, as it seemingly always is.
The South Bend Cubs are back in action tomorrow night for game two of their six game series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.
South Bend shortstop Ed Howard exited the game in the ninth inning after suffering an apparent injury on a close play at first base.