South Bend Cubs pick up 2-1 win over Cedar Rapids in first game of playoffs

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 1:49 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The South Bend Cubs started their playoff journey Tuesday night at Four Winds Field against the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

South Bend and Cedar Rapids are familiar with each other after playing a series in Iowa just last week to wrap up the regular season. But Tuesday night’s meeting had much more meaning, as it was game one of the Midwest League West Division Championship Series, and only one game in the best-of-three series is being played in South Bend.

Fortunately for the hometown fans, the South Bend Cubs love to show up when it really counts.

The Kernels took an early 1-0 lead off a solo home run in the top of the first inning, but that’s the only run that Cubs starter Luis Devers allowed.

The Cubs were held scoreless until the bottom of the eighth, where they played small ball to drive in two runs. In the top of the ninth, Cubs pitcher Jake Reindl struck out the side to clinch the 2-1 game one victory for the Cubs.

Cubs Manager Lance Rymel spoke about the big win afterwards.

“Doesn’t get any better than that, you know,” Rymel said. “Scratching across two to go ahead and then going one-two-three in the ninth for the win is awesome. Devers was absolutely astounding for his six innings, giving up one run in the first inning, and then our bullpen was shutdown. Really good defense from us, too. And we got our fundamental baseball with the bunt and the go-ahead hit, so it was big time for us tonight.”

The series now shifts to Cedar Rapids, where game two and game three, if necessary, will be played.

However, Cubs catcher Pablo Aliendo is hoping his trip to Iowa is short.

“Feel great after that win today,” Aliendo said. “It’s a real important win because we go to Iowa, and I want to play only one day and come back here. I don’t like Iowa. I don’t like that team. We need to win today, and tomorrow and the next day. We needed to win. That’s really exciting today.”

Wednesday will be a travel day for the Cubs. Games two and three are slated for Thursday and Friday.

First pitch for game two on Thursday is set for 7:35 p.m. EDT/6:35 p.m. CDT.

Click here for Tuesday night’s box score.