SOUTH BEND, IN – For the second straight night, the Sky Carp lost in walk-off fashion to the South Bend Cubs, 4-3 following a long rain delay on Saturday night at Four Winds Field.
The loss marks Beloit’s fourth straight to South Bend after the Sky Carp tied the Cubs for first place in the second half with a series-opening win on Tuesday.
The game started in promising fashion for Beloit, as Jan Mercado delivered an RBI single in the top of the second inning to make it 1-0.
After two scoreless frames, Sky Carp starter Dax Fulton allowed a run in back-to-back innings; an RBI single from Pete-Crow Armstrong in the third and a solo homer from BJ Murray that put the Cubs in front 2-1 in the fourth.
From there, Fulton was rock solid. The southpaw allowed just one hit in his final two innings and finished six full frames for the first time in his career.
With Beloit still trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Tevin Mitchell stepped to the plate with Federico Polanco on first base with two outs.
On the 1-0 pitch from lefty Joe Nahas, Mitchell crushed a ball over the seats in left for a 2-run, go-ahead homer – his first longball of the year.
The 3-2 lead didn’t last long. In the bottom of the seventh, Matt Givin retired the first two batters he faced, but then surrendered a two-out double to Crow-Armstrong. Then, Fabian Pertuz ripped a game-tying two-bagger to knot the game at three.
In the top of the eighth, the Sky Carp threatened to take the lead back. Kyler Castillo and Victor Mesa Jr. reached second and third with no outs, but Beloit failed to convert. Bennett Hostetler popped out, Castillo was thrown out at the plate on a ground ball to short and Zach Zubia struck out looking to end threat.
Then, rain poured down on Four Winds Field, resulting in an hour and 13-minute delay.
Out of the delay, Josan Mendez worked a scoreless eighth to preserve the tie.
The Sky Carp went down in order in the top of the ninth, and Mendez came back out to try and get the game to extras in the bottom half.
Yeison Santana started the inning with a double, and then moved to third on a groundout. Beloit then intentionally walked Crow-Armstrong to put the double play in order, and Mendez induced a pop-out to Pertuz to come within an out of escaping the jam.
It was not to be, as Luis Verdugo grounded a ball up the middle for the walk-off hit – the Cubs’ third against Beloit this year.
The six-game set wraps up tomorrow…