SOUTH BEND, In. – The South Bend Cubs broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and then held off a Dayton comeback bid in the ninth to defeat the Dragons 5-4. The Cubs won four of six games in the series.
South Bend pushed across the go-ahead run in the eighth on a bases loaded walk with one out. They added another run later in the inning on an RBI ground out and took a 5-3 lead to the ninth.
The Dragons got a lead-off double from Francisco Urbaez in the top of the ninth and then a run-scoring single from Jacob Hurtubise to make it 5-4, with the speedy Hurtubise at first base representing the tying run with no one out. But Hurtubise, who has nine stolen bases in 15 games including two earlier in Sunday’s game, was thrown out trying to steal for just the second time this season. Quincy McAfee walked to put the tying run back on base, but Quin Cotton lined out to second and Juan Martinez struck out to end the game.
The Dragons opened the scoring with a two-run home run by Martinez in the top of the third, but they fell behind 3-2 in the bottom of the third. They came back to tie the game in the top of the eighth when McAfee walked, went to second on a single by Martinez, and scored on a base hit by Alex McGarry to make it 3-3 before South Bend regained the lead in the bottom of the same inning.
The Dragons finished the day with nine hits. Martinez led the way with a two-run home run and two singles. Hurtubise had two hits and two stolen bases. McGarry had two hits and an RBI in his second game with the club.
With the loss, the Dragons (10-8) fell into second place in the East Division, one game behind Lake County.
The Dragons return home to open a six-game series against the Quad Cities River Bandits (Kansas City Royals affiliate) on Tuesday, May 25 at 7:05 p.m. at Day Air Ballpark. Graham Ashcraft (1-1, 3.21) will start for the Dragons against Asa Lacey (1-1, 5.00). Lacy was the fourth overall selection in the first round of the 2020 draft and the highest-drafted pitcher. The Texas A&M product entered this season as the fourth highest rated left-handed pitching prospect in all of Minor League Baseball, according to Baseball America.
Notes: Dragons reliever Eddy Demurias fired two and one-third scoreless innings. He has now tossed nine innings on the year without allowing a run, surrendering just three hits.