South Bend, IN - With runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning, Ezequiel Pagan entered the game as a pinch hitter and did not waste time roping a ball down the right-field line to score the winning run as South Bend walked
South Bend, IN - With runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning, Ezequiel Pagan entered the game as a pinch hitter and did not waste time roping a ball down the right-field line to score the winning run as South Bend walked off on Cedar Rapids in the series opener 4-3 Tuesday night.
In a contest that looked to be a slugfest early on, South Bend loaded the bases in both of the first two innings but only pushed across a single run which came in the second on a Kevin Alcantara RBI double to make the contest 1-0.
Cedar Rapids was quick to answer in the top of the third. With two on and two out, Noah Cardenas delivered a single to score Ernie Yake and tie the game at 1-1.
After the Kernels evened the game, starter Jordan Carr settled down and finished the night tossing 4.2 strong innings allowing just the lone run on five hits while notching six strikeouts.
The score remained tied 1-1 until the bottom of the seventh when Yohendrick Pinango came to the plate and blasted a two-run home run over the right field wall to hop the Cubs out to a 3-1 advantage.
In the top of the ninth, Cedar Rapids came to the plate, still trailing by those two runs. After Jose Salas started the inning by taking ball four, Misael Urbina lined a double into left field, scoring Salas while putting the tying run in scoring position with no one out in the frame. After a strikeout and a flyout, Urbina remained on second now with two outs in the inning for the top of the Kernels' order. Battling down to his final strike, Noah Miller tied the game at 3-3 with a single to center. The next batter, Ben Ross, also singled, placing runners on first and second with two outs. Cardenas came to the plate and singled into left, with Miller headed in to score, Pinango threw to the plate beating Miller home to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
After South Bend went scoreless in the ninth, the teams traded scoreless tenth innings. In the eleventh, two Kernels base runners were caught stealing, and the game went to the bottom half of the eleventh, still tied 3-3. Christian Franklin started off the inning by grounding out, moving Josue Huma up to third. After Casey Opitz was hit by a pitch, Pagan came on as a pinch hitter and delivered the game-winning hit to propel the Cubs to the 4-3 win.
The loss is the first extra-inning defeat for the Kernels this season, as with the Win, South Bend improves to 14-8, and Cedar Rapids falls to 9-12. The two teams will do it again tomorrow, an 11:05 Eastern, 10:05 Central first pitch, with Alejandro Hidalgo getting the ball for Cedar Rapids opposite Brandon Birdsell.