Left fielder Alex Glenn drove in two runs and scored thrice as the South Bend Silver Hawks won the rubber game of the series against the Lake County Captains 7-4. Glenn’s 3-for-4 night raises his batting average to .583 (7/12) over South Bend’s last six games. The Hawks bullpen also came up big as Enrique Garcia, Thomas Brendel, and Jose Jose combined to throw five shutout innings in the victory.
South Bend (64-39, 20-14) took an early lead with some two out thunder in the bottom of the first inning. Third baseman Brandon Drury singled off of Lake County starting pitcher Ryan Merritt. First baseman Rudy Flores drove a double high off of the batter’s eye in dead center field that brought Drury around to score and gave the Hawks an early 1-0 lead.
The Silver Hawks added a couple of more runs in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, right fielder Mike Lang beat out a bunt down the first base line with a head-first dive. Glenn followed with an RBI double to center field to score Lang. Second baseman Fidel Pena continued his recent hot streak with a triple into the right-field corner that scored Glenn and gave the Hawks a 3-0 lead. Pena went 3-for-4 on the night and is now hitting .391 (18/46) over his last eleven games.
Lake County (39-61, 16-17) would not go quietly into the night as the Captains rallied for four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. With two outs, designated hitter Jeremy Lucas fought off some tough pitches from South Bend starter Rob Coe and worked a ten-pitch walk. Catcher Richard Stock singled to right, putting men at first and second. Third baseman Zack MacPhee loaded the bases with a line drive single to left to put right fielder Jorge Martinez at the plate. Martinez turned on a 1-1 offering from Coe and launched it over the right field wall for a grand slam.
South Bend, the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, bounced back in the bottom of the inning to reclaim the lead against Captains reliever Luis Morel (2-2). Catcher Michael Perez led off the inning with a walk. Lang then beat out his second bunt single of the night, again to the first base side of the mound. Glenn laced a single up the middle that scored Perez from second. Lang also came around to score on the play when Captains center fielder Logan Vick airmailed the third baseman with his throw and the ball went into the Lake County dugout. Glenn advanced all the way around to third on the play. With two outs and Glenn still at third base, center fielder Breland Almadova lined a single to right that scored Glenn for a 6-4 Hawks lead. South Bend later added a seventh and final run in the sixth inning on a bases-loaded wild pitch from Morel that scored Glenn from third.
Enrique Garcia (4-0) entered the game to start the fifth inning and proceeded to throw three perfect innings, retiring all nine batters he faced without allowing the ball to leave the infield. He was followed by Brendel and Jose (S, 3) who also shut down Lake County, the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, in the eighth and ninth innings respectively. The Hawks bullpen was masterful in the three-game series, pitching twelve innings and allowing just one unearned run.The Hawks will welcome in the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Class-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, for a three-game series beginning Saturday night at Coveleski Regional Stadium. Endrys Briceno (6-6, 4.15 ERA) will get the start for the Whitecaps while Kyle Schepel (3-1, 2.64 ERA) takes the hill for the Hawks. It will be a busy night at the Cove as the Hawks will be celebrating Christmas in July. There will be Christmas themed promotions, caroling, Christmas tree decorating and an ugly sweater contest. It is also another Flat Screen Saturday. The Hawks will give away a 39” flat-screen television every inning. The Amazing Christopher will be in attendance as the Silver Hawks welcome the one-man dance troop, Christopher and his life-size puppets. Come to the Cove and dance along to all your favorites with the Amazing Christopher. There’s something for everyone at the Cove on Saturday night as it is also Studebaker Night with Studebaker vehicles on display and a pre-game parade of Studebakers to celebrate a piece of South Bend history. Finally, get to the stadium early as the first 500 fans will receive a Silver Hawks’ wall clock.