Cubs Minor League News: Mervis mashing, Vasquez with two homers, Wisdom rehab, more
Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs

Cubs Minor League News: Mervis mashing, Vasquez with two homers, Wisdom rehab, more

by - Senior Writer -

Tuesday marked the first full week of minor league competition across the board, including the Cubs Minor League system. Unfortunately for them, only three of the four teams were in action, as the Tennessee Smokies saw their game with Chattanooga rained out.

That still made for some fun minor-league action on the diamond, although the Cubs only managed to go 1-2 on the evening. After last week was all about the pitching, it was nice to see the offenses start taking shape, which was last night's focal point.


AAA is known for high-scoring affairs, which was the case in this one. It didn't matter who was on the mound in this one, as Sam McWilliams got the start and was roughed up, while Caleb Boushely couldn't wait for his outing to end.

What started with an RBI double from Patrick Wisdom in the first to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead turned into a two-run advantage with BJ Murray JR adding an RBI fielders choice.

The next inning saw the Cubs offense erupt for four runs as they opened up a 6-0 lead. The long ball made the biggest difference in the inning, with Luis Vazquez and Matt Mervis connecting for solo shots while Wisdom added a two-run shot. Wisdom and Mervis went back to back in that inning as it was all Iowa early.

Like in the Cubs game with San Diego on Monday, all it took was one inning to see the Iowa lead evaporate, as it was time for the Saints to use the long ball. Michael Helman started a four-run fourth inning with a solo shot, as the Saints connected for three homers of their own to pull within 6-4. Yunior Severino added a solo shot later in the inning, with Jair Camargo connecting for a two-run shot.

Not about to let their lead slip away, Murray Jr got one of those runs back with an RBI single in the fifth, while Vazquez connected for his second blast of the game to make things 9-4.

The Saints continued to battle back and pulled within 9-7 on the Camargo single in the ninth, but that was it as Iowa fends off the Saints to open the series. Mervis led the offense with four hits, while Vazquez and Wisdom each drove in three.



Looking to kick off their home portion of the schedule with a win, South Bend found themselves locked into a pitcher's duel, which came down to the ninth inning. Nick Hull made the start for South Bend, tossing five scoreless frames and striking out five.

He gave way to Chase Watkins and a trio of relievers, who couldn't find the same success on the mound. Patricio Aquino was equally as good for Wisconsin, matching Hull pitch for pitch and throwing five scoreless frames. With neither team being able to crack the score column until the seventh, it was Wisconsin opening the scoring as Dylan O'Rae gave the Rattlers a 1-0 lead with a single.

That hit seemed to awaken both offenses a bit, with Casey Opitz leaving the yard in the eighth to bring things back to even 1-1.

Unfortunately, that would be it for the Cubs and their offense as Jose Romero allowed an RBI single to Jadher Areinamo in the ninth to give the Rattlers the lead for good while the Jesus Chirinos double closed out the scoring in a 3-1 win. Opitz had two of the four hits in the win, with Brett Bateman and Rafael Morel adding the rest.


Despite the early offense that the Pelicans were looking for, it was a night of bullpen struggles as the Fireflies scored four times over the final two innings to walk the Cubs off 6-5. It wasn't the result the team was hoping for, especially after Kenten Egbert delivered a fairly strong first start for the Birds, pitching into the fourth and allowing just one earned run.

He was backed by some early offense. A wild pitch gave the Pelicans a 1-0 lead in the first, only to have Erick Pena make things 2-1 with a homer in the second. Once the third inning rolled around, the Myrtle Beach offense picked up steam, and they were looking to finally deliver. All it took was one swing for things to look drastically different, as Andy Gariola connected for the three-run blast to make things 4-2.

Gariola was just getting started, adding a sacrifice fly in the seventh to push the lead to 5-2 and was responsible for all four RBIs. Looking to hold off the Fireflies in the eighth, Columbia had other plans. Derlin Figueroa connected for a two-run blast in the eighth to pull Columbia within 5-3, but things were far from over.

Down to their final at bats, it was the Fireflies' turn to keep the pressure on as they loaded the bases against Scarlyn Lebron, who struggled with his command all night. Not only did he walk four batters, but he also walked in the tying run before allowing the winning run to score on a wild pitch as the Fireflies rallied for the 6-5 win.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!