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South Bend Ends Season with an Extra-Innings Victory

September 19, 2021 - High-A Central League (High-A Central) - South Bend Cubs News Release

Chicago Cubs first-round pick Jordan Wicks took the hill to start the final game of the season, a nice glimpse into the future of the organization to end off 2021 for South Bend.

The Bandits were buoyed by a couple of Cubs errors in the first inning en route to their first run, which came on a Nathan Eaton RBI double in in the first. The inning ended with a highlight-reel double play from Wicks, who snagged a comeback line drive and then nabbed Eaton at third, who was stunned by the quick out. Quad Cities added their second run on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly off the bat of William Hancock, giving the River Bandits a 2-0 lead after four.

A couple of Cubs really wanted to end the season with a bang.

Jake Washer stepped up in the fifth inning without a home run in over two months. That changed when he took a 2-2 pitch off Bandit starter Dante Biasi out to left field for a solo shot. His second blast of the year cut Quad Cities' lead to 2-1.

That was the last batter Biasi would face.

The nineteen-year-old Cubs outfielder rocketed the second pitch of the sixth inning out to right field for a line drive no-doubt home run, his first as a South Bend Cub. That tied the game up at two through five and a half.

Eric Cole hit a liner out to Pinango to start off the home half of sixth. The Cubs' left fielder dove for the ball and was so close to making a phenomenal diving catch. Pinango lost the ball after crashing to the ground, injuring his right shoulder in the process. He was replaced by Yonathan Perlaza for the remainder of the contest.

That bottom of the sixth was just getting started, as Quad Cities worked a pair of walks into a bases-loaded jam with no one out. Tyler Santana remained cool on the hill, forcing a foul pop and striking out the final two batters to get out of the jam unscathed in his final inning. Santana was replaced by Gabriel Jaramillo, who also got himself into a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.

There was one out with the bases loaded in Jaramillo's jam, and he forced a hard ground ball to Tyler Durna at first base. With no one covering the bag, Durna intelligently tossed it to Liam Spence at second for one out, who fired back to Jaramillo, sprinting from the pitcher's mound, as he stepped on first for the inning and jam-ending double play.

Then it was the Cubs' turn to put Quad Cities' pitching staff in a sticky situation. Edmond Americaan led off the eighth with a single and promptly stole his twentieth base of the season. Liam Spence followed him up, flailing at an outside pitch from Nathan Webb that seemed to be a routine play for first basemen Gavin Stupienski.

It would not be so easy.

Stupienski, a catcher by trade, bobbled the grounder and the speedy Spence took advantage, beating out the pitcher to the bag as he reached on an error. The fielding error would prove costly, as Webb threw a wild pitch two batters later that got all the way back to the backstop, allowing Americaan to slide into the plate safely with the go-ahead run. The Cubs led 3-2, their first lead of the game in the top of the eighth.

That lead lasted until the second out in the ninth inning when William Hancock skied a sacrifice fly that drove in Rubendy Jaquez in to tie things up at three. Jaquez had stolen two bases to move from first to third in the inning.

South Bend played small ball in the tenth, with Americaan drawing a leadoff walk and Liam Spence reaching base on another costly error. That loaded up the bases for the two biggest bats in the Cubs lineup, Yonathan Perlaza and Alexander Canario. Both hit long sacrifice flies, scoring Jake Washer and then Americaan to make it 5-3.

After an incredible catch by Alexander Canario in right, Parker Bates added a run on an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, cutting the Cubs' lead to 5-4. William Hancock drew a walk to keep it interesting, but Dalton Stambaugh forced a weak ground ball to Bryce Windham at second to end the game and the season with a Cubs victory.

Despite leaving the game early, Yohendrick Pinango finished the game with two hits (2-3, HR), including his first home run as a South Bend Cub. He was replaced by Yonathan Perlaza, who put South Bend ahead with a sacrifice fly in the tenth. Jake Washer (1-4, HR, 2 R) scored the winning run for South Bend and put the Cubs on the board with his second home run of the year.

Thank you all for supporting the South Bend Cubs all year long, we hope to see you next season! Keep an eye on our website, because we are planning to keep busy with a TON of events in the off-season.

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