The South Bend Cubs hit three home runs to account for all their runs in a 6-2 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Owen Caissie had two of the homers and drove in four runs as the Cubs’ win tightened up the race at the top of the Western Division.
Caissie hit a lead-off home run in the top of the second inning to put South Bend up 1-0.
Wes Clarke got the Rattlers back to even in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out, solo home run.
Caissie struck again in the fourth inning when he hit a three-run home run and the Cubs had a 4-1 lead.
South Bend used the home run again to add to their lead in the seventh inning. Scott McKeon homered to center with a runner at first and one out for a 6-1 lead.
The Timber Rattlers were silenced through the middle innings. DJ Herz retired six of the final seven batters he faced for the third and fourth innings. Then, Walker Powell set down thirteen of the first fourteen hitters he faced.
Tristan Peters broke that streak with a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth. Wes Clarke kept the inning alive with a two-out bloop single to right that sent Peters to third base. Carlos Rodríguez beat out an infield single to score Peters and get the Rattlers another run.
That run would be the last for the Rattlers as Powell got a strikeout to end the game and give the Cubs their third straight win in the series.
Wisconsin and South Bend now have identical records of 23-14. Both teams trail the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Western Division leaders, by two games heading into the final two games of the weekend. The Kernels lost 5-1 to Lake County at home on Friday night.
Game five of the series between the Cubs and Timber Rattlers is Saturday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Brandon Knarr (5-1, 1.34) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. South Bend has named Kohl Franklin (0-3, 8.44) as their starting pitcher. Game time is 1:10pm.