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South Bend Cubs Wrap: Cubs win game 1, 3-1

South Bend turned pitching and just enough offense into a game one winner.

Clayton Daniel
Clayton Daniel lays down a squeeze bunt
Clinton Cole

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs took a one game to none lead in their best-of-five Midwest League Championship Series, 3-1 over the Clinton LumberKings (Marlins).

Kendall Graveman started this game on a rehab assignment and was rudely greeted with a double by Christopher Torres and an RBI single by Jose Devers, the first two batters of the game. But that would be the final run for Clinton. Graveman was helped out later in the first inning when a third baseman Levi Jordan speared a line drive and then doubled Devers off third base to end the inning.

Graveman would go on to pitch 3.2 innings and allow one run on three hits. He struck out three and walked no one. Brandon Hughes got the final out of the fourth inning.

Meanwhile, Jake Slaughter led off the bottom of the second inning with a single. Cole Roederer laid down a sacrifice bunt and the throw went high, putting runners on the corners with no outs. After Marcus Mastrobuoni lined out, Nelson Velazquez hit what should have been an easy inning-ending double play. But shortstop Christopher Torres bobbled the ball and while he was still able to get Roederer at second, Clinton couldn’t turn the double play. Slaughter scored the tying run. Since you aren’t allowed to assume a double play, Velazquez got an RBI fielder’s choice.

The game stayed tied 1-1 for a while, as LumberKings’ starter Remey Reed retired 15 batters in a row after Roederer reached on the error. But Nelson Maldonado greeted Reed with a massive home run to left field to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, giving South Bend a 2-1 lead.

Zach Mort pitched three scoreless innings after Hughes pitched his third of an inning. Mort got the win after allowing just one hit and two walks. Mort struck out four.

Brian Glowicki came on for a two-inning save and retired the side in order in the eighth.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, South Bend tacked on an insurance run. Velazquez went to second base on an error to lead off the inning. A wild pitch sent him to third base and after Jordan coaxed a 12-pitch walk, Clayton Daniel laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Velazquez.

Glowicki came out to pitch the ninth and the first Clinton batter reached on catcher’s interference. Glowicki retired the next two batters and then allowed a two-out single to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. But third baseman Jordan again made a diving stop on a grounder to his left, got up and threw a strike to first base to end the game.

Glowicki got the save with two innings, allowing no runs and one hit. He struck out two and didn’t walk anyone.

South Bend only had three hits and two walks in this game. They were helped out by two big Clinton errors, as well as that bobble that wasn’t an error because Clinton still got one out.

The two teams will meet again in South Bend for game two on Thursday.