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 South Bend Cubs

South Bend Snaps Skid and Top Whitecaps 6-5

August 18, 2023 - Midwest League (MWL)
South Bend Cubs News Release

Comstock Park, MI - The South Bend Cubs have broken their five-game losing streak after beating the West Michigan Whitecaps on Friday night by a final of 6-5. Picking up the win, South Bend has their first victory of this week-long series, and also gained a game on all three teams they are chasing in the West Division. Peoria, Beloit, and Wisconsin all lost, so the Cubs put together a productive night by all accounts.

Facing off against Jackson Jobe, the number-three overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Cubs were behind early after West Michigan scored a run with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 1st inning. The run came home courtesy of a catcher's interference call, but Brody McCullough grinded out the inning, and left the bases juiced for the Whitecaps.

The Cubs had a quick answer in the bottom of the 1st when Christian Franklin walked, and then Josh Rivera singled him home. It was the first of three hits for Rivera on the day, the second three hit game he has had since joining South Bend.

Jobe brought some good stuff on the mound, but the Cubs got to him, especially in the 3rd inning.

Luis Verdugo started the 3rd with a single, then Ezequiel Pagan doubled. Matt Shaw stepped up, and in a battle of first-round picks, Shaw smacked a two-run double off of Jobe to give the Cubs their first lead at 3-1. South Bend picked up one more run in that frame when Moises Ballesteros singled home Shaw.

With the double, Shaw now is on a 10-game hitting streak, and has been on base for 11 in a row.

McCullough wrapped up his start with three innings and only the unearned run surrendered. Nick Hull then entered the game, and in his second Midwest League outing, he ate innings. Pitching with a 5-1 lead at the time with Verdugo singling home Rivera in the 4th, Hull pitched four innings, surrendering two runs.

The Whitecaps bullpen did give West Michigan an opportunity to win though. They sent down the Cubs 12 in a row at one point, giving their bats some much needed momentum. The Whitecaps scored one run in the 6th, 7th, and 8th, to get back within a run.

South Bend took that final tally right back though, when Christian Franklin launched a solo home run in the top of the 9th inning to lead 6-4. Franklin was officially inserted into the Chicago Cubs Top-30 Prospect List today via MLB Pipeline.

In for the final three outs was Frankie Scalzo Jr. West Michigan is a team that seemingly can put rallies together quick. They did get an RBI base hit from Carlos Mendoza to get back within a run at 6-5, but the rangy righty Scalzo got Gage Workman to fly out to end the game and secure the save.

With the win, the Cubs are six games back of a playoff spot. With Wisconsin and Beloit losing, the Cubs are also 2.5 games behind of both clubs. Game 5 of the series will begin Saturday night at 7:05 PM. Right-hander Luis Devers is the expected starter for the Cubs.

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Midwest League Stories from August 18, 2023

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