MINORS NEWS

Cubs Minor League News: Caissie and Alcantara homer, Morel raking, Edwards Jr. impressive
Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs

Cubs Minor League News: Caissie and Alcantara homer, Morel raking, Edwards Jr. impressive


by - Senior Writer -

Things may not always be sunshine and roses for the Cubs and their system right now, but at least plenty of fun things are going on. Once again, the class of the system delivered with a pair of wins, while the lesser teams fell giving the Cubs a 2-2 mark.

IOWA CUBS 4 - LOUISVILLE BATS 3

The best part of this year's I-Cubs team is that they can beat you with both their offense and pitching. Tuesday saw them beat the Bats with their relentless offense, while Wednesday saw them taking a pitching approach. Chris Clarke was the beneficiary in this one as he continued to pitch well with four strong innings of one-run ball.

Clarke may not have gotten the win, but he did what he needed to keep the Bats quiet while the offense did what it had to do to pick up the win. With Lyon Richardson on the bump for the Bats, Louisville took an early lead on an RBI fielder's choice, which was the lone run Clarke would allow. That 1-0 lead held until the third when David Peralta tied things up with a sacrifice fly, while the Owen Caissie fifth-inning homer put Iowa in front 2-1.

Coming off his dominating 2023 and an impressive Fall League and Spring showing, that was the first AAA homer for Caissie, getting the monkey off his bat. The bit hit in the ball game came in the sixth inning, with Matt Mervis connecting for an RBI double to make things 4-1.

That would go down as the winning hit as former Cub PJ Higgins got into one in the eighth inning to make things 4-3 before Carl Edwards Jr locked things down for his first save.

Edwards struck out three in his two innings of work and has been a pleasant surprise since the start of the season.

Caissie led the Cubs with two hits and an RBI, with Peralta and Mervis doing the rest of the damage. Pete Crow-Armstrong and Patrick Wisdom also had two hits as the Cubs connected for eight hits in the win.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 4 vs. MONTGOMERY BISCUITS 2

Things may not always be perfect, but at least two teams in the Cubs system are fun to watch right now. Tennessee is one of those teams, as they made it two straight against Montgomery on Wednesday. Connor Noland delivered another solid outing after a dominating first outing, allowing two runs in five innings as he finally picked up his first professional win this season.

Considering Logan Workman struck out eight in five innings, the Smokies needed a performance like that from Noland as he kept things close to give his team a chance. Noland pitched well most of the game, but after allowing RBI singles to Tanner Murray and Carson Williams in the third and fourth innings, the Smokies found themselves in a 2-0 hole.

Like all good teams do, Tennessee found a way to battle back as Hayden Cantrelle homered for the second straight game to make things 2-1 with James Triantos tying things up with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. One of the most polarizing prospects in the Cubs system, Kevin Alcantara, has gotten off to an extremely slow start, but that hasn't worried anyone.

Alcantara picked a great time to connect for his first homer as his seventh-inning shot gave the Smokies the lead for good, 3-2. Pablo Aliendo closed out the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth as the Smokies doubled up Montgomery.

BELOIT SKY CARP 19 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 4

You have to feel for the South Bend Cubs right now, as nothing is going right. Not only has their offense struggled to get in a decent rhythm, but their pitching has been awful, to put it nicely, as of late, which continued on Wednesday. Will Sanders was on the bump for the Cubs, and before he knew what hit him, his day was over after allowing six runs in 1 2/3.

Joe Mack and Yiddi Cappe had a pair of RBI singles in that six-run second inning, but the Josh Zamora three-run blast opened the scoring. Zamora was just getting started as he added a second homer one inning later to extend the lead to 8-0 with Jorge Caballero adding a solo shot. In total, 10 runs came across to score for Beloit in those innings as they opened up a massive 10-0 lead.

It took five innings for the Cubs to break through, and Casey Optiz ended the shutout bid with a solo blast. Beloit answered with another solo homer of their own at the bottom of the fifth from Mark Coley II, with Brian Kalmer picking up an RBI double in the sixth. Homers continued to be the theme for Beloit in this one, with Brett Roberts adding another one in the sixth and Joe Mack grabbing one in the eighth.

Mack delivered the biggest hit of them all as his Grand Slam was part of another six-run inning that pushed the lead to 19-3. Rafael Morel closed out the scoring with an RBI double in the ninth, which ended the Cubs struggles 19-4.

Morel had a great day, leading the way with four hits and an RBI, with Jake Long picking up two hits. Opiz, Kalmer, Morel, and Jefferson Rojas were credited with the RBIs for the loss.

KANNAPOLIS CANNONBALLERS 17 - MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 8

Talk about a disappointing start to the season. Myrtle Beach continued floundering, running their losing streak to six games. This marks their longest losing streak in three years, as the season's first two weeks have been rough.

Anytime your staff strikes out 16 in a game, you have to consider yourself fortunate, but when you walk 17 (a new team record), it doesn't make things easy, as the Cannonballers dominated the Pelicans. Mason McGwire started the struggles, failing to make it out of the first before the rest of the rotation went downhill. That includes Nick Dean, who struck out eight in three innings while allowing four earned runs.

The offense was the focal point in this one from start to finish, with Rikuu Nishida opening the scoring with an RBI single in the second before Caden Connor made things 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. A bases-loaded walk to Drew Bowser pulled the Pelicans to within 2-1, but it was their three-run third that gave them the lead as the Andy Gariola homer tied things up ahead of the Carter Trice single, giving the Birds a 4-2 lead.

That was when things went downhill for this team as the Cannonballers scored four times in the fourth on a pair of RBI singles from Caden Connor and Ronny Hernandez to retake the lead. This was only the beginning, as Kannapolis scored 13 unanswered runs the next four innings to take what was a two-run deficit and flip it into a 15-4 lead.

Had the Pelicans just packed it in from there, no one would've blamed them, but that isn't how this team is wired, as they began to show some fight in the bottom half of the eighth. Cristian Hernandez started a four-run eighth inning with an RBI single as Jacob Wetzel added an RBI double to make things 15-6.

Gariola kept the line moving with a sacrifice fly while an error aided the game's final run for Myrtle Beach, who lost 17-8.

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