SOUTH BEND, IND. - The West Michigan Whitecaps gave up a pair of clutch home runs in a 6-2 defeat to the South Bend Cubs at Four Winds Field Thursday night to force a winner-take-all Game 3 of the Midwest League Quarterfinals.
West Michigan’s offense got off to a fast start in the second inning thanks to run-scoring singles by Cam Gibson and Joey Havrilak to take a 2-0 lead.
The Cubs answered in the bottom of the inning, the same way the Whitecaps rallied to tie Game 1 on two different occasions. South Bend scored twice in the second on a sacrifice fly by Isaac Paredes and an RBI-double by Tyler Alamo to tie the game at two. Alamo gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead in the sixth with a solo home run to left field.
An inning later, Matt Rose, the Cubs’ reigning Midwest League Player of the Month for August, belted a three-run homer through a cloudy and humid night sky to put the game away and give South Bend a 3-2 advantage.
The ‘Caps struggled to generate scoring opportunities, going without multiple runners on-base in all but one inning in the contest.
Jose Paulino (1-0) tossed six effective innings allowing just five base hits to pick up his first win of the postseason for South Bend, while Toller Boardman (0-1) gave up both Cubs homers to take his first loss to take his first loss of 2016.
Casey Bloomquist pitched the final three innings for the Cubs to earn his first save of the postseason. The Whitecaps and Cubs are now tied 1-1 in this best-of-three game series, with the deciding came scheduled for Friday.
Will Maddox led the Whitecaps at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance in the loss. West Michigan lost Game 1 hero Jose Zambrano in the second inning, when an undisclosed injury forced him to leave the contest.
The Whitecaps will play a winner-take-all Game 3 of this Midwest League Quarterfinal series against the South Bend Cubs Friday night at 7:35 p.m.
Spenser Watkins is scheduled to get the start against righty Adbert Alzolay for the Cubs.
(© 2016 WZZM)