South Bend, IN: The South Bend Cubs continue to find ways to win games despite falling behind early.
In three games so far in their series versus the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Cubs have fallen behind by at least three runs after two innings each day. Wednesday was much of the same with the Hot Rods bouncing on Cubs starter Jose Albertos with two 1st inning runs. Albertos was pulled after one inning of work, so South Bend needed to turn to their bullpen.
After being called up from extended spring training earlier in the day, reliever Brendan King was tasked with keeping the game within distance for the Cubs. King tossed two innings while allowing just a run.
Rollie Lacy continued his strong stretch in the Cubs bullpen with four innings of his own. Lacy also allowed just a run. However, it was Ben Hecht walking away with the win for South Bend. Hecht pitched the final two innings.
South Bend received big days from their power bats. After being just a triple shy of the cycle last night, Austin Filiere doubled in the game and walked. Third baseman Yeiler Peguero had a three-for-four night at the plate and drove in his first two RBI of the year. Finally, Zach Davis had his best night of the season after finishing with a triple, three runs scored, and two walks.
With the strong bullpen effort, the Cubs offense was given numerous opportunities to take control of the game. They took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the 7th inning where heads up base running scored both Davis and Chris Singleton to give the Cubs the 5-4 lead.
They headed to the top of the 9th inning up by just a run. Hecht headed back to the mound for his second inning of work after throwing a scoreless 8th. Bowling Green capitalized on a fielding mistake made by South Bend when Carl Chester made a break for third base on a ground ball. Cubs first baseman Jared Young's throw rolled past Peguero at third, which allowed Chester to score the tying run.
For the first time this season, the Cubs had a chance to walk-off in the 9th inning. Sending the top of the order to the plate, Chris Singleton reached on an error made by Hot Rods first baseman Brendan McKay. After a single by Peguero, a sacrifice bunt by Young, and a walk to Filiere, Michael Cruz came to the plate with the bases loaded.
Cruz dribbled a ground ball to the second baseman Vidal Brujan. Brujan got the force-out at second base, but Singleton scored to give the Cubs the 6-5 walk-off win.
With the win, South Bend improves to 4-2 on the season. They have won their first series of the season after taking the first three games against the Hot Rods so far. They will have a chance at the sweep tomorrow in the finale as they send starter Ricky Tyler Thomas to the mound. Thomas, who started on Opening Day in West Michigan, will vouch for his first win of 2018. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. from Four Winds Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.