by Brendan King, South Bend Cubs
South Bend, IN — The South Bend Cubs kept their playoff hopes alive by splitting a doubleheader against the Lansing Lugnuts on Wednesday night by finals of 6-4 and 6-2. With their 6-2 win in the nightcap, South Bend is narrowly still in the playoff picture with an elimination number at one. After Great Lakes clinched the first half Wednesday, the wild card is the only spot up for grabs now in the East.
Game one started with an early 3-0 Lansing lead through three innings of play. South Bend rallied back to tie it though with two big runs in the bottom of the 6th inning. In the 7-inning contest, South Bend had chances with the bases loaded on two occasions, but cashed in the second time on Christopher Morel’s game tying sac fly. It was a 3-3 game heading to extras.
Entering his third inning, Cubs closer Ethan Roberts was trying to push the Cubs towards a walk-off win. But Lansing ultimately capitalized in the top of the 8th with a bases clearing triple from Rafael Lantigua to make it 6-3.
South Bend added one final run on a single from Andy Weber, but fell in game one 6-4.
After a 30-minute break, the Cubs needed to come out and win game two to keep their playoff hopes alive. They did just that and took it to the Lugnuts early with an immediate 6-0 lead. In the first, Delvin Zinn picked up one of his six hits of the series and scored a short time later for a 1-0 advantage.
In the 2nd, Brennen Davis launched his third professional home run deep over the left field wall for a three-run bomb. Since debuting with South Bend, Davis has been on base in 15 of the 16 games he has played. Later in the inning, Rafael Narea drove in two more.
On the mound, Jack Patterson started his first Midwest League game and lived up to the narrative he has set for himself. In 11 of his 12 appearances, he has allowed one run or less. That includes tonight with four innings of one run baseball.
Patterson took a no-decision, as Jose Albertos earned his first Midwest League win with three stellar innings of his own. Albertos allowed just a run and struck out four. The right-hander had an especially nasty changeup working.
With the win, the Cubs are alive in the Eastern Division going into the series finale Thursday night. South Bend can close the series with a tie if they win. Left-hander Brailyn Marquez will be on the mound for the Cubs at 7:05 p.m. on 96.1 WSBT, The Sports Leader.