Kevin Made – Picture by Todd Johnson

When South Bend began their game at 5 P.M. central, I was knee-deep in infographics for a couple of my classes this week. Needless to say, I needed the distraction of baseball. I was surprised to see that Kohl Franklin was given the start tonight. I thought for sure it would be Luis Devers on five days rest. Instead, Devers will go on Tuesday. That made me wonder if Manager Lance Rymel was going to be piggybacking Luke Little behind Kohl to form a powerful 1-2 punch. At least that’s what I hoped would happen.

Kohl came out of the chute and looked really good the first couple innings. He didn’t throw an overwhelmingly large amount of pitches and there is something to be said for pitching at home. Heading into the game, Kohl had a 2.89 this month. Thinhgs looked good. In the bottom of the inning, he got some help/

BJ Murray lead off with a double and scored on a Pablo Aliendo double. And the hits just kept coming as South Bend put up five runs including two on a Jordan Nwogu single.

It was not an insurmountable lead, but it was enough of a cushion that could hopefully pay off in victory.

In the top of the third, Lake County got on the board and then scored another run off Kohl again in the fourth. He left the game after loading the bases with one out and he was replaced by Luke Little as I foresaw.

And that was the end of my prescient vision.

Two singles, two walks, and a balk later and Lake County had taken a 6-5 lead. Little eventually got out of the inning but it can’t be an easy thing to go from being a starter to suddenly being a reliever.

One thing South Bend has done all year is that the team never gives up. They came right back in the bottom of the fourth and tied it up on a Kevin Made home run who already had a double earlier in the game to drive in a run. Not too shabby for a 19-year-old kid.

Little struggled again in the top of the 5th giving up a run. In his 1.2 innings of work, he walked four guys and gave up 3 hits.

There was still a lot of baseball left to be played.

When the sixth inning opened, Gabriel Jaramillo was on the bump. After two quick outs, three quick hits plated another run for the Captain to make it 9-6 Lake County.

And like clockwork, South Bend came back in the sixth to score 2 more runs on a double by BJ Murray and a single by Pablo Aliendo who both later scored on sacrifice flies by Kevin Made and Fabian Pertuz to keep the Cubs within reach at 9-8.

Joe Nahas moved to the mound to start the seventh for South Bend. He did fine in the seventh despite two singles. He did, however, give up a run in the top of the eighth to make it 10-8. The Captains then added one more unearned run in the ninth to make it 11-8.

The bottom of the ninth started off with an out and then PCA singled and Jordan Nwogu walked and all of a sudden the tying run was up to the plate. Owen Caissie pooped out for out number two but the Cubs still had one more chance. Unfortunately, Luis Verdugo whiffed and game one was over.

Still, you have to feel good about South Bend’s chances with Devers going on Tuesday and Hodge on Wednesday.

I will be back in the morning with a preview of Tennessee’s upcoming series.