SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Gioskar Amaya stepped into the box with the bases loaded and the score tied in the bottom of the 10th inning. He waved his bat twice, rested it on his right shoulder and waited.
As the 1-2 pitch came at him, Amaya swung. Part of his bat went flying toward third. The ball skittered toward first. Charcer Burks sprinted in from third ahead of the throw, as South Bend topped Bowling Green, 7-6, in walk-off fashion on Friday night at Four Winds Field in front of a franchise record crowd of 8,143.
"Oh man, that's incredible," Amaya said before taking a shaving cream pie to the face from teammate David Bote. "When you play hard the last inning and everybody plays hard in the game. I got the opportunity. I feel good for everybody. That's incredible, man."
The Cubs (5-4 second half, 34-42 overall) erased a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning on six hits and one Hot Rods error. With a 6-6 game in the 10th, Burks led off with a double and waited at third four batters later.
"That was the only thing on my mind, just scoring," Burks said. "I didn't care where Gioskar hit the ball. I was running, either way, on contact."
South Bend scored the final seven runs.
"[Hitting coach] Jesus Feliciano always says hitting is contagious," Burks said. "And it really is. One guy gets a hit, and the next guy behind him wants to top that and get a hit. And it just trickles down."
The single-game franchise attendance record of 8,143 eclipsed the 8,004 mark set June 19. But Bowling Green (4-5 second half, 41-38 overall) was spoiling the patriotic fun before the comeback.
Hot Rods starter Hyrum Formo allowed just three hits in seven shutout stanzas.
South Bend starter Jake Stinnett spun a career-high seven innings and allowed three earned runs, six hits, three walks and notched one strikeout.
"It was awesome," Stinnett said. "The team just never gave up. We were down 6-0, eighth inning, and we could have easily just given up there. But the guys fought and strung a few hits together. We just made it happen. It was awesome to be a part of. I think that's one of the best wins we've had all year.
"I think the command was there, especially with my fastball. I didn't really put guys away as good as I could have - not many strikeouts - but got the job done for the most part."
Cubs righty Dillon Maples worked the final three innings and gave up only a pair of unearned runs.
"It's an unreal feeling," Maples said. "All the soreness goes away. The legs get really light. You've just gotta trust in your preparation."
The Hot Rods scored in the top of the second when right fielder Justin Williams singled to left field and left fielder Hunter Lockwood muscled a two-run shot to right field.
Bowling Green tacked on two more and stretched its lead to 4-0 in the fifth when shortstop Cristian Toribio and first baseman Alec Sole singled to right field. After Cubs right fielder Jeffrey Baez threw the ball in, the Cubs tossed the dirtied ball into the dugout, thinking time was called. The umpires ruled it a two-base infraction.
Formo didn't allow a Cub to reach second base over a span of 19 batters between the first to seventh innings.
Lockwood ripped an RBI single in the eighth to widen the advantage to 5-0, and third baseman Grant Kay added a run-scoring knock of his own.
But Cubs center fielder Rashad Crawford punched a two-run double down the left-field line off of Bowling Green reliever Edgar Gomez in the last of the eighth to make it 6-2. Burks chipped in with a floating RBI single to plate Crawford and trim the deficit to 6-3. Then Gleyber Torres sliced an RBI double into the right-field corner, making it 6-4. Third baseman Jason Vosler coaxed a walk, and first baseman Jesse Hodges placed a sacrifice bunt. Amaya then snuck an RBI single into right field, bringing the count to 6-5. Andrew Ely's sacrifice fly tied the game, as Vosler scored to make it 6-6.
With the winning tally in the 10th, South Bend snapped a three-game losing skid.
Cubs right fielder Jeffrey Baez collected two hits, snapping an 0-for-32 stretch.
"It just gives everyone confidence and seeing that we can come from behind," Stinnett said. "We don't have to be winning to start the game. We don't have to be winning in the eighth inning. We can come back at any point. I think it gives the team a new mindset. We're gonna battle out there no matter what inning it is."
South Bend and Bowling Green hit the road for the final two legs of their home-and-home series Saturday at 8:05 p.m. ET at Bowling Green Ballpark. Cubs right-hander Michael Wagner (1.08 ERA) will oppose Hot Rods righty Hunter Wood (1.31 ERA).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.