2022 Midwest League Champion South Bend Cubs gear up for Opening Day

SOUTH BEND, Ind — The 2022 Midwest League Champs are ready for the 2023 season.

The South Bend Cubs brought home the hardware two times in three years after winning in 2019 and 2022.

With 15 players returning from last year’s championship roster, there's no doubt in their minds they’re on the right track to repeat in 2023.

Due to their recent success, the South Bend Cubs and Four Winds Field could look a bit different in the coming years.

Team owner Andrew Berlin said in two seasons, the field will expand, adding more to the experience for the fans and players at Four Winds Field, and it’s all thanks to the support of the community and the new hardware he gets to sport around.

"I think you're probably alluding to this ring right here, or is it this ring over here? I don't know, it might be both rings. But I will say this: the one thing I'm not responsible for is the tremendous talent that plays the game on the field," Berlin said.

"This whole space that we're in right now in the second-floor stadium, it's all going to get torn out and we're going to go up a second floor, from third base to first base. We're all going to go up a second deck," he said. "There'll be more suites, more seats, bigger seats. We're also going to have a convention center that we're going to build in left field corner, and that'll be a viewing area for restaurants are often new offices will go out there, but it also be an opportunity for people to have big indoor parties as well."

Berlin mentioned the seating will increase by 50% with the new renovations.

As for last year’s championship team, the players are anxious to take the field on opening day against the Quad City River Bandits.

During last season’s opening day matchup, the two teams faced on a rather chilly day, and Quad City walked away with a 3-4 win over the South Bend Cubs.

"Our end goal is to get another ring. So I mean, with the team that we have, I feel like that's, that's very possible chance," said pitcher Khol Franklin.

"Our first day of practice today, everyone's excited right. We got our photos. We're just excited to get the season started, we're ready to get out of Arizona and we're ready to take on Quad Cities," said second year manager Lance Rymel.

"We have a new group so we had some guys coming back with a new group. It's building that camaraderie early and just going out there and performing," said catcher Casey Opitz. "So that's the biggest thing is you don't try to take the whole season and day one. You know what I mean? We're gonna have struggles, we're gonna have our ups and downs but you just take it day by day."

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