South Bend Cubs ready for season opener and to relive 2019 Midwest League title run

There will be a banner raising ceremony before the game to honor that 2019 team.
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 6:40 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - There is so much excitement at Four Winds Field on Tuesday.

Why? Well because Tuesday marks the first time in exactly 600 days since the South Bend Cubs have played a game at Four Winds that wasn’t just an exhibition.

For a lot of the South Bend Cubs, it feels even longer.

In 2020, the entire minor league baseball season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation left many of the minor league players questioning what is next. What is next, is baseball at Four Winds Field.

“I couldn’t be more excited to get the season going,” South Bend Cubs manager Michael Ryan said. “Anytime you have an opening day, you just get those nervous butterflies and excitement to be able to get going. I’m excited to watch this team play. I’m excited to lead this team.”

The team feels like it’s Christmas morning because it’s finally opening day.

“I am so excited,” South Bend Cubs pitcher Ryan Jensen said. “I forgot what it feels like to face other competition. I stepped on the field in spring training for big league camp, and it just felt like I was getting drafted again. Just this feeling came over my body. I was just so happy to be back and be around the guys. I’m excited for this team this year. I think we are going to be really good.”

Of course, the last time the South Bend Cubs took the field, they also had a really good team. They won the Midwest League Title in 2019.

The run the South Bend Cubs made in 2019 was quite remarkable.

On their way to the title, the team won every single game in the postseason to finish with a perfect 7-0 record.

It was the first title for the club since 2005 and first since becoming a Chicago Cubs affiliate.

This year’s South Bend Cubs squad has some members from the 2019 championship team, including Cole Roederer, who caught the last out to clinch the title.

Roederer says the run the South Bend Cubs made in 2019 was unforgettable.

“It was fantastic,” Roederer said. “All of those guys, all of my family I can think about every game in that season how we started, how we finished it, the memories I made are some of my favorite moments in all of my whole career playing baseball, my whole professional career derived from that season. I can’t wait to see that banner be unveiled and that energy come from the crowd. We are looking at 50 percent this year. It’s more than I could have dreamed about playing in front of again. We’re going to do something special for the crowd of South Bend and we are going to bring something home this year.”

Roederer says his parents will be at the game, and hopes they bring his Midwest League Championship ring.

There will be a banner raising ceremony before the game to honor that 2019 team.

The news doesn’t stop here. Former Notre Dame pitcher Shane Combs will also be on the South Bend Cubs roster this season. He was just promoted on Monday.

First pitch of the season is at 7:05 PM at Four Winds Field against the Quad Cities River Bandits.

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