SOUTH BEND – Preston Morrison’s professional best start couldn’t come at a better time. Morrison threw a career-best seven innings of shutout baseball in the 5-1 win for the Cubs Thursday night against the Lake County Captains.
With the win the South Bend Cubs (40-26) are now one win away from a playoff spot and a West Michigan loss from clinching the division for the first half of the season.
Morrison worked out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the first to keep the Captains off the board. Eloy Jimenez rewarded his pitcher in the bottom half with an RBI single to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. PJ Higgins and Tyler Alamo later added run-scoring singles for the Cubs, which had nine hits on the night.
Bryant Flete added a two-run single in the eighth to pad the Cubs lead.
Morrison’s seven innings afforded only five hits, two walks and the 6’2″ righty struck out a career-high nine batters. Pedro Araujo worked the final two innings for his first save of the season.
Connor Marabell tripled and scored the only Lake County (38-29) run in the ninth inning.
Game two of the four-game set is Friday night, a 7:35 p.m. first pitch at Four Winds Field.