It was an exciting night in Bowling Green, Kentucky and fans of high-scoring games got more than their money’s worth. But once the smoke cleared, the home team came up just a bit short.
Left fielder Kevonte Mitchell kicked off the proceedings with a solo homer in the top of the second inning, and shortstop Isaac Paredes went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs as the South Bend Cubs (28-18) cruised to a 9-5 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods (19-26) in the finale of a 4-game series that the two teams ended up splitting.
Cubs starting pitcher Jose Paulino had a rough night, with six walks in only 4 2/3 innings, but relievers Michael Knighton (1-1) and Chad Hockin were able to staunch the bleeding, limiting the Hot Rods to three runs through the first eight frames.
Bowling Green shortstop Miles Mastruboni and catcher Rene Pinto drew three walks each and the Hot Rods as a team stayed patient and worked the Cubs’ staff for a combined ten walks as well as five hits, but the five runs the team plated didn’t turn out to be enough. Unfortunately, starting pitcher Ethan Clark (1-1) gave up six runs, six hits, and three walks over 5 2/3 innings, giving South Bend enough of a cushion to work with that a late two-run double by Pinto became little more than background noise.
Now 12.5 games behind the West Michigan Whitecaps in the Midwest League Eastern Division standings, the Hot Rods will host the Lake County Captains for a four-game set. Your Cubs, meanwhile, only trail the Whitecaps by four games, with their in-state rivals the Fort Wayne TinCaps on the way into town for a Memorial Day weekend battle of Hoosier State squads.