Mervis continues to rake this season (Photo via Iowa Cubs)
Mervis continues to rake this season (Photo via Iowa Cubs)

Cubs Minor League News: Mervis clutch in comeback win, Made homers, Wicks impressive, more


by - Senior Writer -

The Cubs came so close to posting a perfect 4-0 night on Friday only to let one of those games get away late. Still, a 3-1 record is never bad, especially when they are about to have a second team clinch a playoff spot for 2022.

IOWA CUBS 9 - COLUMBUS CLIPPERS 6

Talk about a Jekyll and Hyde game. After blowing the lead not once, but twice, the Cubs used a four-run ninth inning to retake the lead and win. For the first time since returning to Iowa, Matt Swarmer was able to get through five innings as the right-hander allowed four runs in five innings.

He gave way to a trio of relievers, including Brenden Little, who earned the win, and Ben Leeper, who picked up his seventh save. With the game tied 0-0 in the third, John Hicks put the Cubs in front as his RBI double made things 2-0. Two innings later, Matt Mervis unloaded for another long bomb to right field, extending the Iowa lead to 3-0.

The Cubs continued to make life difficult for Columbus by scoring twice in the sixth to take the 5-0 lead before the Clippers offense began to tee off Swarmer and company. With Bo Naylor putting the Clippers on the board with an RBI single, George Valera capped off the five-run inning with a Grand Slam, and just like that, things were tied 5-5.

Columbus would then grab the lead on the Brayan Rocchio homer in the sixth, leaving Iowa in a bit of a panic. That was until the ninth, when the Cubs offense picked the perfect time to come through again. A Mervis double not only tied things back up, but it ignited what was a four-run frame as Hicks connected for the go-ahead and a game-winning RBI single. A Trent Giambrone single later in the inning brought home a pair to make things 9-6 as Leeper shut the door for the save. Five Cubs had multiple hits in the game, including Mervis, Hicks, Darius Hill, Brennen Davis, and Levi Jordan.

MISSISSIPPI BRAVES 9 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 7

With a chance to trim another game off their magic number, the Smokies let one get away as the Braves offense scored seven times late in the game to pick up the win. Jordan Wicks was back on the mound for Tennessee, and despite going just three innings, it was three scoreless frames. Wicks was backed by some early offense, with Yonathan Perlaza and Nelson Maldonado picking up RBI singles in the first to put the Smokies in front 2-0. Add in the first homer of the season for Jake Washer, and the Smokies were holding the 3-0 lead through two.

With Dalton Stambaugh on to pitch the fourth, Mississippi began to trim the Smokies lead with a pair of RBI groundouts, making things 3-2. Fortunately for the Smokies, they scored four runs across the next four innings as Perlaza (2), Maldonado, and Cole Roederer were responsible for those RBIs.

With the Smokies holding a 7-5 lead in the eighth, Mississippi would get the last laugh as they managed to rally late. Riley Delgado brought things back to even with a two-run double, but the game-winning Cody Milligan single was the difference as Mississippi took down the Smokies 9-7.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 2 - LANSING LUGNUTS 1

Not only did the Cubs clinch this week's series against Lansing, but this win marked their ninth straight win at Four Winds Field. Not only that, but South Bend has seen their magic number drop to one as one more win or a Beloit loss will hand them the second-half playoff spot for the Midwest League.

Led by Kohl Franklin on the mound and a big-time homer, South Bend did just enough to win as they held on for the 2-1 win. For Franklin, this was his finest start of the season as he got through 5 2/3 and allowed just one run on three hits with seven strikeouts. He was backed by the fifth-inning two-run homer from Kevin Made, as those were the lone runs the Cubs would need.

Lansing managed to pull within 2-1 in the sixth when Max Muncy worked a bases-loaded walk off of Adam Laskey, but that was it as Joe Nahas, and Sheldon Reed held them scoreless the rest of the way. South Bend needed just five hits to win as Made was joined by Pete Crow-Armstrong, Jordan Nwogu, Yohendrick Pinango, and Casey Opitz.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 8 - CHARLESTON RIVERDOGS 4

Maybe all it took for the Pelicans to figure out how to win again was facing the best team in the league. Following their 8-4 win on Friday, the Pelicans evened their series against Charleston in what could be a potential playoff preview in two weeks.

2022 seventh-round pick Nick Hull made his second start of the season and delivered a three-inning outing of one hit and two strikeout ball. He has yet to allow an earned run with Myrtle Beach, and that is a good sign as the playoffs are around the corner. It took four innings for someone to break through, but Myrtle Beach broke through in a big way scoring six times to take a 6-0 lead.

Singles from Liam Spence, Juan Mora, and Josue Huma put the Pelicans in front 4-0 before Haydn McGeary double capped off the massive inning, with the Pelicans leading 6-0. Charleston would get a run in the bottom half of the inning, but that would be it until way late in the ball game.

Still leading by the 6-1 score in the eighth, the Pelicans pushed a cross two more runs as they took an 8-1 lead with six outs to go. Credit the Riverdogs for refusing to give up as they started to make some late-game noise on the Dominic Keegan homer that made things 8-4. Myrtle Beach would win by that score as they picked up another big-time win.

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