South Bend, IN - Just when you thought things could not have gotten more offensively blazing after the South Bend Cubs crushed the Cedar Rapids Kernels 18-2 last homestand, and when they put up 12 runs on the Quad Cities River Bandits last night, the Cubs did it again. It
South Bend, IN - Just when you thought things could not have gotten more offensively blazing after the South Bend Cubs crushed the Cedar Rapids Kernels 18-2 last homestand, and when they put up 12 runs on the Quad Cities River Bandits last night, the Cubs did it again. It was a season-best 26 runs on 24 base hits, with tying their best mark of five home runs in their 26-7 beatdown of the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Like last night, South Bend took an early lead and never looked back, but tonight was just different. With dependable right-hander Connor Noland on the mound, South Bend exploded for three runs in the bottom of the 1st. They got started in a quick-paced way as Ezequiel Pagan tripled to begin the inning, then he was immediately swatted in when James Triantos tomahawked a single into right field.
The Cubs eventually were ahead 3-0 after just an inning, but they were far from done. In the second, James Triantos smacked his own triple and then was patrolled in when Moises Ballesteros clubbed a long home run.
South Bend also received a mammoth home run shot when Felix Stevens lasered a ball over the right-center field wall for a solo shot. Back-to-back doubles by Luis Verdugo and Pagan then set up an RBI sacrifice-fly from Kevin Alcántara. By the end of the 3rd inning, South Bend’s advantage was 11-2.
Again, just when you thought it couldn’t get better, it did.
In their best inning of the year, South Bend ferociously hit around the entire lineup and then some. 11 runs came home in the bottom of the 4th alone. Here’s how it went.
Christian Franklin led off with a single, Yohendrick Pinango followed up with the same. Josh Rivera then hammered the Cubs third home run of the game way out of the yard down the left field line.
After a Verdugo double, Pagan walked, Triantos singled, Alcántara ripped a double, then a wild pitch scored a run. As the Cubs hit around, Franklin reached again on a walk, and so did Rivera. Verdugo picked up his second base hit of the inning on a single, and then Triantos smacked his second hit of the inning.
South Bend was one batter away from hitting around for a second full time in the inning. They led 22-3 heading to the 5th.
The stat lines for Cubs players were just wild midway through the game. Triantos was 4/4 with five RBI half way through. Verdugo had five hits before the 5th inning was over, and Alcántara finished with four RBI.
Three separate Cubs had five RBI games. In his final start of 2023, Noland worked four innings and struck out four batters. Derek Casey earned the victory with two innings of one-run baseball.
Verdugo added a home run to his total, and now has seven of them with the Cubs in right around 50 games played. Last season, he had five bombs with the Cubs in over 100 games. Finally, Pinango hit the last round tripper of the night deep over the right-center field wall, off of one of the stadium light poles way deep.
It was the best day at the plate of the season for the Cubs, and then some. They have plated 38 runs in two games this week, and have won back-to-back contests to start the last week of the campaign.
They’ll look for double digits again on Thursday night as they host the River Bandits at 7:05 PM. Right-hander Grant Kipp is scheduled to be on the mound for the Cubs.