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South Bend walks it off for their third-straight win

Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 3:21 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Another day, another walkoff for the South bend Cubs.

The fourth game of the series began as another pitcher’s duel after Matteo Bocchi got himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. He struck out the leadoff batter but allowed the next three to reach base on two walks and an error, but a strikeout of DaShawn Keirsey Jr. lit a fire under the right-hander, and he quickly retired Jair Camargo to get out of the inning.

Neither team would score until the fourth inning, when the first two Kernels recorded a hit on a Keirsey triple and an RBI single by Camargo made it 1-0. But South Bend answered in a big way in the fifth.

The first two Cubs batters reached base in the inning, and DJ Artis stepped up and smacked a pitch out into deep left field. It kept on carrying until the leftfielder Max Smith ran out of room and Artis had his first homer of the season in South Bend.

The lead lasted one inning, until a double from Smith and an RBI groundout by Daniel Ozoria tied things up at three in the seventh.

In the bottom half, the Cubs struck right back.

Two of the first three Cubs hitters got on base, and some well executed hit-and-run plays led to a go-ahead RBI from Tyler Durna. Nelson Velazquez followed him up with his first hit of the series, a double into left field that drove in Artis to make it 5-3.

It was up to Burl Carraway in the ninth, who had two straight strikeouts after a leadoff walk. The game seemed all but over, but on a two-strike count Edouard Julien delivered a game-tying two-run blast over the right-field wall. And for the third straight game, South Bend and Cedar Rapids headed to extras.

Jose Albertos came on to pitch the ninth, and was dominant after a passed ball sent the extra runner in Wander Javier to third base. Albertos responded with three strikeouts and a zero on the scoreboard to send it to the bottom half.

Tyler Durna led off the tenth for the Cubs with a rocket of a single up the middle, but was thrown out trying to advance to second. For the third straight night, Velazquez was intentionally walked. A Jake Slaughter pinch-hit strikeout set up Ryan Reynolds for some late-inning heroics, and Reynolds delivered.

On a 2-1 count, Reynolds sent a pitch from Zach Featherstone high into shallow centerfield. The Kernels’ shortstop and centerfielder gave chase, but the ball fell beyond the outstretched glove of DaShawn Keirsey, and Artis scored easily for a Cubs win.

Jose Albertos earned his third win of the season, and two Cubs finished with multi-hit games. Tyler Durna (3-5, RBI) drove in a run for the fifth straight game, and D.J. Artis (2-5, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI), smacked his first homer of the season and scored the winning run. Ryan Reynolds’ walkoff single extended his on-base streak to nine games.