Owen Caissie – Picture by Todd Johnson
The South Bend Cubs won their second title in the last three seasons tonight with a 7-4 victory over Lake County!!!
The young Cubs hit three home runs that plated all seven runs. Owen Caissie hit a three-run dinger in the third and a few batters later Pablo Aliendo added a two-run shot to make it 5-0 South Bend.
Lake County got back in it in the bottom of the inning as three scored three times on 4 hits to make it 5-3. It was just a blip for starter Porter Hodge who otherwise went 5 innings and only gave up 1 other hit on the day.
Luis Verdugo added a two run shot in the fifth to make it 7-3.
From there, it was up to the bullpen to hold the lead.
When Hodge left the game, skipper Lance Rymel brought in Joe Nahas to hold down the lead. Having just pitched last night, there was no way Riley Martin, Jake Reindl, or Michael McAvene were going to come in to close it. As a result, the bullpen was a little thin but then again, it was the last game of the year.
Nahas pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh. When he came out for the eighth, it was a little surprising but I went with it. Nahas gave up a run, but the Cubs still had a 3-run lead.
When Sheldon Reed came out to pitch the ninth, I just just nodded my head and went with it. Sometimes, you just got to trust the skipper. He usually has a plan and this was all about getting to the hottest reliever the Cubs had the last six weeks!
After a leadoff double, Sheldon Reed buckled down and got three groundouts to strand the runner as South Bend won 7-4!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was a very fun team to cover here at North Side Bound and also from the dugout taking pictures for the team on the road. I am so happy for the squad, the fans, and the organization! It was to have a front row seat to all that talent this year! Thanks to the South Bend Cubs, Brendan King, Max Thoma, and Chris Hagstrom-Jones for all the access this year!
I will be back in the morning with a look at some sleeper starting pitchers for 2023.