SOUTH BEND, Ind. – South Bend’s P.J. Higgins delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs as the Cubs came from behind to defeat the Dayton Dragons 3-2. The Cubs have won the first two games in the series. The Dragons will close out the season on Monday at 2:05 p.m.
For the second straight day, the Dragons scored in the first inning to take an early lead, and on Sunday, they held the lead into the eighth inning. Mitch Piatnik hit the first pitch of the game for a base hit, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a two-out double by James Vasquez to make it 1-0.
The Dragons added another run in the fifth when Zack Shields singled with two outs, went to second on an error, and scored on a two-out single by Luis Gonzalez to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
South Bend scored one run in the seventh but still trailed 2-1 going to the bottom of the eighth inning. Carlos Sepulveda started the inning with a base hit and advanced all the way to third on a pair of wild pitches. After a walk and a stolen base, P.J. Higgins singled through the left side of the infield to drive in both runners and give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. The Dragons were retired in order in the ninth inning.
Dragons starting pitcher Jesus Reyes pitched well but was not involved in the decision. He worked seven strong innings and allowed one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Reliever Ryan Hendrix (3-1) worked the eighth inning in relief of Reyes and suffered the loss, allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
The Dragons collected eight hits. Gonzalez led the way, going 3 for 4 with two doubles as he extended his hitting streak to 13 straight games, the longest of the year for a Dayton player. Piatnik had two hits.
The Dragons (26-43, 47-92) meet the Cubs (42-27, 83-55) in the final game of the season on Monday at 2:05 p.m. Jake Johnson (0-3, 10.97) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Ryan Kellogg (8-7, 3.18).