The Great Lakes Loons (18-34) dropped the final game, losing the series (2 games to 1) with an 11-5 loss to the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs) at Dow Diamond tonight.
South Bend drew first blood early when Cubs shortstop Jhonny Bethencourt reached on a 1-out single, then moved to second when field umpire Trevor Dannegger called a balk on Loons starter Jose Chacin, which led to an RBI-single by Cubs first baseman Austin Filiere, driving in Bethencourt from second base for a 1-0 South Bend lead midway through the first inning.
The Loons tied things up when CF Brayan Morales reached after being hit by a pitch to lead off the game, then moved to third on a 1-out double off the bat of Great Lakes first baseman Jared Walker, before Morales was driven in on a sac fly RBI from RF Carlos Rincon to tie the game at 1-run apiece in the bottom half of the first inning.
South Bend put a 4-spot on the board when lead-off hitter Zach Davis reached on a bunt single, stole second base, then scored on an RBI-triple from Bethencourt, who scored on an RBI-single by LF Jared Young, before South Bend catcher Miguel Amaya (7) crushed his seventh home run of the year, a 2-run shot over the right field wall at Dow Diamond for a 5-1 Cubs lead in the top of the third inning.
The Cubs continued the pressure in the fourth when DH Brandon Hughes led off with a walk and moved to second on a single by third baseman Rafael Narea, while both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch by Chacin, who then walked Davis to load the bases, before Chacin hit Bethencourt with an inside pitch to bring in Hughes for a 6-1 South Bend lead, chasing Chacin for Loons reliever Austin Hamilton with just 1-out in the top of the fourth.
Chacin (0-2, 6.35 ERA) picked up his second loss of the season after giving up 6-earned runs on 7-hits and 2-walks, with 2-strikeouts through 3 1/3 innings, while South Bend starter Cory Abbott (4-1, 2.47 ERA) picked up his fourth win of the season after giving up 1-run on 4-hits, while striking out 8-batters through 5-solid innings.
Hamilton struck out Young for the second out of the inning and looked like he may have had a chance to work out of the jam, however, he walked Filiere, which scored Narea to make it a 7-1 game, before Amaya roped a bases clearing double off the center field wall at Dow Diamond, bringing in 3-runs for a 10-1 South Bend lead in the top of the fourth inning.
The Cubs added another run in the sixth when Filliere drove in Young (who had reached with a 1-out double) with an RBI-single for an 11-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning.
The Loons showed some signs of life in the seventh when designated hitter Romer Cuadrado (1) led off the inning with a solo home run (his first HR as a Loon) to right center field, making it an 11-2 game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Great Lakes would make things interesting late when Walker led off the eighth with a single and scored on an infield ground-out by Cuadrado to cut the South Bend lead to 11-3 in the bottom of the eighth, before Morales (2) hit a 2-run home run (his second HR of the season) to make it an 11-5 game in the bottom of the ninth.
Morales was 3 for 4 with 2-RBI's and 2-runs scored to lead the Loons from the dish, while Walker followed, finishing 3 for 5 with 1-run scored.
The Loons will ring in the month of June with a visit from the Fort Wayne Tincaps (San Diego Padres) for a 3-game home series, with game-1 set for 7:05 pm right back here at Dow Diamond Friday night.
Great Lakes lefty Leo Crawford (0-1, 1.33 ERA) will take the bump against Fort Wayne lefty Tom Cosgrove (1-2, 4.46 ERA) who was selected by the Padres out of Manhattan University in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB supplemental-draft.
Loons DH Romer Cuadrado rounds third after hitting his first HR as a Loon against the South Bend Cubs at Dow Diamond: