Three Hulsizer Homers Not Enough
SOUTH BEND, Indiana. - A historic night for Niko Hulsizer was not enough for the Great Lakes Loons to defeat the South Bend Cubs at Four Winds Field on Monday night. The Cubs took advantage of a late Loons error to win the series opener 6-5.
Hulsizer's first home run of the night put Great Lakes on the board first in the third inning with a two-run shot to left-center field off the Chicago Cubs' top pitching prospect, Brailyn Marquez. South Bend took one run back immediately in the bottom of the inning on an RBI-single for Jonathan Sierra.
The Cubs took the lead in the fourth inning on consecutive run scoring doubles by D.J. Artis and Cole Roederer. It was 4-2 South Bend lead when Hulsizer hit his second bomb of the night. This time off reliever Faustino Carrera, Hulsizer hit a low line drive over the tall wall in left field.
Great Lakes tied the game again in the seventh inning on an RBI-double by Jacob Amaya, but South Bend retorted with a pair of runs in the bottom half thanks to a Tyler Durna two-RBI double. The two runs that were plated on that double were unearned against Alfredo Tavarez's line because of an error by Loons first baseman Dillon Paulson earlier in the frame. Tavarez (L, 0-1) lost a scoreless streak of six 1/3 innings in the outing.
Hulsizer did it again in the eighth inning off Carrera (W, 1-0) as he clobbered a ball all the way to the base of the new apartments built beyond the concourse in left field. This homer for Hulsizer was the deepest of the night and pulled the Loons back within one run.
Ethan Roberts entered the game in the ninth inning for the Cubs to try and shut the door. Roberts (S, 3) allowed a runner to reach scoring position, but the Loons could not score.
Hulsizer joins 2017 Loon Cody Thomas as the only players in franchise history to homer three times in one game. The 18th round pick out of Morehead State and 2017 College Home Run Derby Champion says he also hit three home runs in one game once in college.
First pitch for game two on Tuesday is set for 7:05 p.m. EDT with radio pregame coverage beginning at 6:35 on ESPN 100.9-FM.
The Great Lakes Loons have been the Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team's inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team's home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
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