Cubs Minor League News: I-Cubs lose, Cam Sanders impressive, Walk-off win for South Bend,
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

Cubs Minor League News: I-Cubs lose, Cam Sanders impressive, Walk-off win for South Bend,

by - Senior Writer -

Saturday was a hit or miss day for the Cubs system as the four teams played to a 2-2 record on the night. Some games featured terrific starting pitching to go with timely hitting, while others games saw teams behind early and often and dig a hole they couldn't climb out of.

When those inconsistent results happen, you will continue to see .500 records across the board for the system, no matter how good some of the prospect's play. We are ending the third week of competition for the minors, and so far, Iowa has been the cream of the group in the Cubs system, with the rest of the teams starting to get better but still looking for consistency.


Despite pitching well most of the season, starter Joe Biagini has had little to show for as he has sported a 1-2 record with a 4.74 ERA. The second of those losses came on Saturday when he was tagged with five earned runs on seven hits in just three innings of work. This was his worst outing of the season, and the result showed.

As the first inning got rolling, it looked as if the teams would be in for an offensive show, with Ryan McBroom giving Omaha a 1-0 lead early. The suddenly hot Patrick Wisdom continued to hit the cover off the ball as his double in the bottom of the first made things 1-1. Unfortunately, that would be all the offense Iowa would be able to generate, as not only did Omaha end the game with six unanswered runs, but the Cubs were held to four hits in the loss.

Sebastian Rivero and Edward Olivares contributed to five of those six runs down the stretch, with Hunter Dozier doubling in the other run. Sergio Alcantara, Abalitlo Avelino, and Matt Burch collected the other three hits to go with Wisdom's double. Ian Miller, Rafael Ortega, and Trayce Thompson were all held hitless. Adam Morgan continues to pitch well in relief as he is yet to allow a run while Tyson Miller made his season debut, striking out a pair in one inning of work.


Much like Iowa, the offense was an issue for Tennessee early, but they then exploded for six runs over their final two innings to claim the win. Cam Sanders was back to being his Cam Sanders self, allowing just one run on two hits in five innings to go with seven punchouts and two walks. Sanders received a no-decision, as Dakota Mekkes and his flawless two innings of relief secured the win.

Just like the Iowa game mentioned above, Tennessee got their offense going early as they were able to strike first in the second off a Grayson Byrd double, giving the Smokies a 1-0 lead. That score would hold until the fifth when Sanders allowed his lone run on a Tyler Friis sacrifice fly to make things 1-1.

With Mekkes on the mound in relief, Connor Myers delivered the game-winning knock as his two-run double in the seventh gave the Smokies a 3-1 lead. The Shuckers were able to inch a run closer in the eighth on a Mitch Lugo homer, but that would be as close as they could with the Tennessee offense coming to life in the eighth.

As more and more traffic was on the bases, the Smokies picked up RBI singles from Nelson Maldonado and Vance Vizcaino while Christopher Morel and Byrd added sacrifice flies to take a 3-2 lead and turn it into a 7-2 win. Of the nine hits, both Byrd and Andy Weber picked up two hits each as they swung hot sticks.

Darius Hill, Levi Jordan, Vizcaino, Myers, and Maldonado rounded out the hits for the Smokies in what was a very balanced attack. Miguel Amaya and Morel combined to go 0-6 with three strikeouts, but Morel did add another RBI for his 12th of the season. Manuel Rodriguez continues to lower his ERA after a rough start tossing a scoreless ninth with another strikeout.


You got to give South Bend credit as they continue to fight despite being under .500 at this point in the season. After letting an early lead get away and wasting another good Peyton Remy start, South Bend got the last laugh as they walked off the Dragons 3—2.

Speaking of Remy, he has emerged as a top arm on this staff as he tossed six strong innings allowing just two runs on three hits to go with a pair of walks and eight strikeouts. Remy yielded things to Burl Carraway, who, despite walking two, still struck out two as he didn't give up a run. Brendon Hughes was credited with the win.

Unlike some of the previous games of this series, Dayton struck first using a Quincy McAfee fielders' choice to grab a 1-0 lead in the third. Thankfully, Cole Roederer had an answer in the bottom half of the inning as RBI double brought things to even before a Yonathan Perlaza single in the fourth gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.

With the lead in hand, Remy was unable to keep things that way, serving up a solo shot to Francisco Urbaez in the fifth as Dayton was back to even 2-2.

However, that would be the final run for a while as the Cubs wasted a sixth inning Tyler Durna double to remain tied 2-2. Down to their last at-bats in the ninth, Chase Strumpf led the inning off with a single before advancing to third on another Durna double.

Karsen Lindell was intentionally walked to load the bases as Dayton was hoping for a strikeout or double play to keep things going. Fortunately for South Bend, Perlaza was at the plate as his patience paid off to earn the bases-loaded walk-off walk and secure the 3-2 win. Durna collected three of the team's nine hits as this was his best game of the season.

Add in two hits from Strumpf and hits from Roederer, Perlaza, Nelson Velazquez Josue Huma, and you have an offense that connected for nine hits to go with two additional walks. Delvin Zinn went hitless from the top of the order.


At 13-4, the Hillcats are one of the best if not the best team in Low-A right now, and the Pelicans have felt the wrath of that over the weekend. Following an 11-1 loss Saturday, the Pelicans fell to 7-9 on the season and realize how much work is still needed to reach the Lynchburg level.

When you look at the final scoreline, all you need to do is focus on the second and fourth innings when the Hillcats pushed across four runs in each frame. Take away those two innings, and the Pelicans played them to a 3-1 game. Of the four pitchers that the Pelicans used, only Raymond Pena went without allowing a run, although he only pitched 2/3 of an inning. Adam Laskey was charged with five earned runs in less than two innings, Jake Reindl served up four runs in 3 1/3, while Carlos Ocampo was touched up for a pair of runs.

Not only did a Jonathan Rodriguez double put the Hillcats up for good in the first with a double, but through four innings, the score was 9-0 as the Pelicans didn't have it on Sunday. Ironically, only three of those runs came off homers, with Andres Melendrez connecting for a three-run shot. Jhonkensy Noel added three RBIs of his own on a pair of singles as they were the spark plugs for the offense.

While one homer isn't always enough, why not make it two for Melendrez, who went deep a second time in the sixth to extend the lead to 10-0. Jonathan Sierra followed that up in seventh, playing long ball of his own as his first homer of the season ended the shutout bid in what was overall a disappointing 11-1 loss.

The Pelicans may have had one run, but they did record seven hits, making it a bit more frustrating. Yohendrick Pinango is starting to heat up at the plate, collecting a pair of hits in the game as he was joined by Edmond Americaan, Yeison Santana, and Sierra, who also had two hits. Ed Howard was given the day off while Jordan Nwogu continues to be out of the lineup for unspecified reasons.

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