According to the Midwest League curfew rule, an inning cannot begin after 12:50 AM, regardless of the score. That stipulation came back to bite the Cubs’ Single-A affiliate on Friday night, when the South Bend Cubs were forced to table their 6-6 tie against the Mariners’ Clinton LumberKings after 18 innings. The team rescheduled the remainder of their contest for 5:30 PM ET on Saturday, when the Cubs prevailed after their 19th and final inning to win 7-6 over a two-day period.
Clinton right-hander Ljay Newsome stumbled out of the gate, allowing six runs on seven hits and striking out just four of 24 batters in five innings. The Cubs’ big moment came in the fourth inning, when Luis Ayala collected a two-run double and Yeiler Peguero capitalized on a fielding error by the first baseman, bringing another two runs home to score for a four-run inning. The LumberKings retaliated in the eighth with a two-run double and home run of their own, collecting the tying runs on Luis Liberato’s third homer of the season.
For the next ten innings, however, bats on both sides were silent. The clubs cycled through a cumulative 12 pitchers, frustrating the attempts of 17 stranded baserunners before suspending the game after the 18th inning. The 19th inning was pushed back to Saturday afternoon, when right-handed reliever Manuel Rondon set down three consecutive outs to get the ball rolling again. The LumberKings weren’t so lucky. Clinton right-hander Jack Anderson allowed a leadoff single to Yeiler Peguero, then a stolen base, then intentionally walked Kevonte Mitchell. Jhonny Pereda hit into a fielder’s choice, bringing Peguero home to score the winning run and bring a merciful end to the 19-inning marathon.
The kicker? The Cubs’ celebration was short-lived — one hour and 19 minutes, to be precise. The team’s next match began at 7:05 PM ET.