SOUTH BEND – Ian Rice belted two home runs and drove in a career high five runs leading the South Bend Cubs to a 17-3 win over the Lansing Lugnuts at Four Winds Field.
Rice, who entered Saturday with one home run and six driven in, doubled in the second inning to begin his three-extra base hit night. Then in the fourth inning, he hit a long two-run home run to give the Cubs a 3-1 advantage.
The University of Houston product hit another home run in the fifth inning, a three-run shot during a six run frame. The Cubs, thanks to Rice’s long drive, had a 9-3 advantage.
South Bend put the game out of a reach with an eight run eighth inning.
All nine South Bend hitters had a least one hit including three-hit games by Andrew Ely, Daniel Spingola, Rice and Sutton Whiting.
Preston Morrison won his third straight start after allowing three hits and three runs during five innings of work. Pedro Araujo, Kyle Miller and James Norwood combined to shutout the Lugnuts over the last four innings.
South Bend is now a season high thirteen games over the five-hundred mark with a record of 30-17 and lead West Michigan and Lake County by three games for first place in the Eastern Division.
Game three of the four game set is tonight at 7:05 on 96.1fm WSBT. The Cubs will send Carson Sands to the mound (5-0, 3.38) versus the Lugnuts Angel Perdomo (2-1, 1.73).