Timber Rattlers take down South Bend after grand slam

South Bend didn’t record a hit or a run until a fourth inning, and both came on one swing of the bat.
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:43 PM EDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (South Bend Cubs) - The season series between two teams batting in the West Division standings is split again, as South Bend can’t come back against Wisconsin.

Once again, the Timber Rattlers got off to a fast start, starting a two-out rally with RBI base hits by Je’Von Ward and Joe Gray plating the first two and chasing Jensen with one out remaining in the frame. Kekai Rios smacked a solo homer in the second to make it 3-0 Wisconsin.

South Bend didn’t record a hit or a run until a fourth inning, and both came on one swing of the bat. DJ Artis took a 2-1 pitch 417 feet to dead center for his third homer in the past week and cut the Timber Rattler’s lead to 3-1.

Pitching dominated this game, with the Rattler’s Carlos Luna setting a season-high with nine strikeouts and a dominant showing from Burl Carraway. The Cubs 2020 second-round pick turned in the best outing of his professional career, striking out five of six batters he faced in two innings of work without allowing a baserunner. After his last frame, Yonathan Perlaza smacked a double off the middle of the wall in right-centerfield to score Bryce Ball from first and bring the Wisconsin lead down to 3-2 in the seventh.

It looked like the comeback was on for South Bend but after the seventh inning stretch, Wisconsin jumped ahead. Eduarniel Nunez let the first three batters reach base and then Thomas Dillard lined the first pitch he saw over the left-centerfield wall for a grand slam, bringing the Timber Rattlers lead up to 7-2.

That would do it for the scoring after each team went down 1-2-3 in the final two frames.

Artis (1-4, HR, RBI) and Perlaza (1-3, 2B RBI) drove in the runs for South Bend, and Edmond Americaan (1-3, BB) had the Cubs other hit. The Cubs got scoreless outings from Carraway, who set a career-high with five strikeouts, and Tyler Suellentrop who pitched a scoreless eighth.

Next Up: Matteo Bocchi (1-0, 3.55 ERA) vs Dylan File (0-0, 3.86 ERA). Bocchi and the Cubs look to rebound against the Timber Rattlers tomorrow night and recreate the success of Tuesday’s night game vs Wisconsin.