Beloit, WI – Entering Tuesday evening in Beloit, the South Bend Cubs continued their 12-game road trip held exclusively in the state of Wisconsin. With their series closing win in Appleton on Sunday, the Cubs were 2.5 game back of first place held by the Beloit Sky Carp along with both Peoria and Cedar Rapids. With a 9-4 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday, the Cubs are in striking range in the West Division and started their most important series of the first half in a big way.
South Bend sent starter Connor Noland to the mound on Tuesday night, and Noland continued his strong work in his first pro season. Pitching his third career game already against Beloit, Noland worked a 1-2-3 1st inning, and set the Cubs up for success at the plate.
Kevin Alcántara was hit by a pitch on the first offering of the game by Holt Jones, and then stole second base. He was left in scoring position, but the Cubs didn’t miss out on their opportunities from then on.
In the 2nd, still facing Jones, who came into Tuesday with an ERA over 11.00, he was also facing the Cubs for a third time this year. His first start in the home opener at Four Winds Field went well with 4.2 shutout innings. That same series, he pitched in the finale and surrendered seven runs in 3.2 innings.
Tuesday in Beloit looked like the latter, as Jones ran into trouble first in the 2nd. South Bend received a double by Bryce Ball, Ethan Hearn walked, Scott McKeon got hit by a pitch, and Christian Franklin singled. Alcántara brought home his first two RBI of the night on a solid single, and that was followed by another RBI-hit from Ezequiel Pagan.
Jones continued on the mound into the 3rd, and that’s when the big blow was dealt. James Triantos was the third man that Jones hit on the night to start the frame, Yohendrick Pinango walked, and Fabian Pertuz took Jones deep on a three-run homer to give the Cubs a 6-1 lead. It was the third round tripper of the season for Pertuz.
The inning continued with RBI hits from Hearn and McKeon. In a short matter of time, it was an 8-1 Cubs lead.
That was all the pitching staff would need as Noland finished off his start with four innings pitched, no walks, and five strikeouts. It ended up being the third straight start that Noland did not walk a batter.
Out of the bullpen, Jarod Wright earned the win with three strong innings and only one run allowed. Beloit mounted a comeback effort late against Adam Laskey,…