The Great Lakes Loons dominated the South Bend Cubs 5-0 in front of 3,289 fans at Dow Diamond tonight. After taking the final two games of a three game series in South Bend last week, the Loons have now won the first two games of this series in Midland.
The Loons will go for five straight against the Cubs tomorrow night. This is the longest winning streak against any midwest league team for the Loons this season.
Starter Isaac Anderson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) earned his first win since joining the team July, 23. Following that start (his first as a Loon) he had to settle for a no-decision after giving up just one hit through four scoreless innings, which is one inning shy of the required five to become the pitcher of record.
Tonight was pretty much the same for the Dodgers (round-40 selection) in the 2015 MLB draft out of Wichita State. Anderson protected his perfect 0.00 ERA allowing 3-hits and two strike outs through five scoreless innings. The early run support was a big confidence builder for the Boise, Idaho native.
“The biggest thing is just throwing strikes and giving yourself a chance,” said Anderson. “It was a huge weight off my shoulders to get those runs early. It helps me out as a starter, especially being new here with a new environment and new players, any run support is a great help.”
Anderson did get into a bit of a jam in the top of the second inning, however, he was able to work out of it nicely. South Bend first baseman Yasiel Belaguert led off with a double to center field and Rashad Crawford moved him over to third base with a bloop single. With runners on first and third, Anderson dug deep and struck out DH Charcer Burks and forced Erick Castillo to ground out to end the threat.
The Loons struck first and early again tonight. Designated hitter Matt Beaty got things started with a one-out double down the right field line in the bottom of the second inning. First baseman Justin Chigbogu drove in Beaty with a hard hit RBI double to the gap in left-center field, giving his team an early 1-0 lead.
Chigbogu scored the second run of the game in the fifth inning after reaching on a lead off walk. Alex Verdugo's 2-RBI single scored Chigbogu and Nick Dean, giving the Loons a 3-0 edge. Chigbogu then ripped a 2-RBI single for some insurance in the sixth inning. Chigbogu led the Loons offense going 2-for-3 with 3-RBI, a walk, a double, and one run scored.
“I saw the ball pretty well tonight,” Chigbogu said. “I was waiting on my pitch and staying in the counts and not trying to chase too much. It was a great feel at the plate tonight, I saw the ball really well and it was just a really good day today.”
Two Great Lakes relief pitcher's which I've nicknamed “the Law Firm” or “Campbell-&-Campbell” consisting of Matt Campbell and James Campbell teamed up to allow just one hit and one walk through four combined scoreless innings in relief. Verdugo finished 3-for-4 with 2-RBI.
The Loons will try to extend their five game winning streak against the Cubs when they play the final game of the series at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow at Dow Diamond.