The first two Clinton LumberKings to face rehabbing Chicago Cubs pitcher Kendall Graveman doubled during Game 1 of the Midwest League Championship Series on Wednesday.
Unfortunately for the LumberKings, that was the extent of the offense they could muster against the hosting South Bend Cubs.
The Cubs' Nelson Maldonado hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning and South Bend topped Clinton 3-1 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The LumberKings' offense, which had averaged nearly six runs in its first five postseason games, got off to a fast start, with shortstop Christopher Torres and second baseman Jose Devers starting off the first with doubles to make it 1-0.
Clinton looked poised to add more when a wild pitch moved Devers to third with nobody out, but Graveman struck out Peyton Burdick and got Kameron Misner to line into an unassisted double play to third.
The former Oakland A's starter, who has missed the entire 2019 season while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, settled in from there, allowing just one more hit in his 3 2/3 innings of work.
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A trio of Cubs relievers held the LumberKings scoreless from there, led by three innings from winning pitcher Zach Mort.
Outside of Maldonado's home run, South Bend didn't have much more luck off Clinton starter Remey Reed. A pair of miscues proved costly for the LumberKings, however.
After Jake Slaughter singled to lead off the bottom of the second, Torres committed a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Cole Roederer that allowed Slaughter to advance to third. He then scored on a one-out force out.
Then, with Reed leaving after allowing one earned run on three hits over seven innings, another Torres error allowed Nelson Velazquez to reach second to lead off the eighth. Velazquez moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Clayton Daniel's sacrifice bunt to make it 3-1 South Bend.
The teams face off again at 6:05 p.m. today, with Jake Walters pitching for Clinton against South Bend's Faustino Carrera. Walters allowed no hits through seven innings in his last start, a 10-1 series-clinching win over Kane County in the first round of the playoffs.