MINORS NEWS

Cubs Minor League News: Morel and Mervis still mashing, Davis and Velazaquez homer, more
Morel hit his 7th homer of the season

Cubs Minor League News: Morel and Mervis still mashing, Davis and Velazaquez homer, more


by - Senior Writer -

Saturday was a strange night on the diamond for the Cubs Minor League system, as three of the four teams were in action. Granted, the Cubs came away with a 2-1 record for the day, but it wasn't the typical style of games you are accustomed to seeing.

You could argue that all three games were a tale of two games, as most were one-sided early and completely flipped later on. Still, a 2-1 record is all you can ask for, as the wins keep coming.

IOWA CUBS 11 - BUFFALO BISONS 6

Despite their offense cooling off in recent games, the Cubs are still finding ways to win which is not something they did a lot of last year. They nearly let a massive lead get away in this one, but still managed to pick up the 11-6 win.

Chris Clarke made his first start since returning to the organization, and you had to like what you saw. Granted, he only went three innings, but he walked one and struck out five. He gave way to Curtis Taylor and Tyler Duffey as they both had scoreless innings of work.

Offensively, it was all Iowa for most of the game, with Brennen Davis opening the scoring with an RBI groundout in the second. Miles Mastrobuoni added to that start with an RBI single in the third, with Nelson Velazquez stealing home to take a 3-0 advantage.

The Cubs continued their offensive barrage when Nelson Velazquez used his fourth homer to make things 5-0.

Matt Mervis added his sixth homer in the seventh as the Cubs busted the game wide open 6-0.

As if a 6-0 lead wasn't good enough, the Cubs continued to do damage in the eighth, with Davis adding a solo homer ahead of a Mervis single and the Darius Hill bases-loaded walk. An error was also mixed in as the Cubs scored four times to take a 10-0 lead.

In the eighth, things began to get interesting with Vinny Nittoli on the mound. Spencer Horwitz ended the shutout bid with an RBI single, while an RBI force-out made things 5-2. Throw in a bases-loaded walk and an RBI double from Ernie Clement, and Buffalo started to make a game out of things and trailed 10-4.

Another RBI single from Stevie Berman pushed across two more runs as the Bisons scored six times in the eighth to pull within 10-6. That was as close as they would get, with Christopher Morel adding a ninth-inning solo shot to cap off the scoring in the 11-6 win.

Davis had a huge game for Iowa, leading the way with three hits and two RBIs.

CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 11 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 0

When you look at the score of this game, you would think it was over almost as quickly as it started. That is far from the truth, as a pair of massive innings is what did the Smokies in.

Porter Hodge finally put forth a strong start on the mound, giving the Smokies four shutout innings with three strikeouts. He walked two and allowed four hits, but most importantly, he didn't allow a run. Apart from his start, things went differently than planned as the Smokies bullpen was rocked, including Peyton Remy and Michael McAvene, who combined to allow eight runs in less than two innings.

Hodge and the Smokies had their work cut out for them in this one, as Joe Boyle dominated the Tennessee offense. Boyle scattered three hits in 5 2/3 innings of work, but he struck out 12 as they seemingly had no chance against him. Yet the score remained 0-0 until the fourth inning when a Quincy McAfee bases-loaded hit by pitch gave the Lookouts a 1-0 lead before James Free sacrifice fly doubled it.

In the sixth inning, things went south for the Smokies as the Lookouts offense started to come to life. Sure another bases-loaded hit by pitch and a wild pitch didn't help, but the Lookouts pushed across six runs with Noelvi Martin ripping an RBI double and adding singles from McAfee and Rece Hinds to make the lead to 8-0.

Two innings later, the bases-loaded double from Ilvin Hernandez capped off the scoring as the Lookouts dominated the Smokies 11-0. The Smokies had four hits in the contest, with Bryce Ball, BJ Murray Jr, Zach Davis, and Luis Verdugo with the hits.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 4 - GREAT LAKES LOONS 2

It is amazing how things are trending for South Bend right now. Coming off their Midwest League championship last season, this is a much different-looking Cubs team as they continue to have tons of early-season success.

Connor Noland made the start, and although he didn't last long pitched well. Noland allowed one run on two hits while striking out a pair. He gave way to Didier Vargas, who tossed 1 1/3 innings to win, while Sam Thoresen (3 Innings) and Adam Laskey finished things.

Despite the strong pitching one again from South Bend, the offense got off to an even slower start as they trailed 1-0 after four. That run was courtesy of Griffin Lockwood-Powell sacrifice fly as the Loons grabbed the early 1-0 lead. That lead lasted 10 minutes as the Cubs scored four unanswered runs to seize control.

Three of those runs came in the fifth, with Juan Mora tying things up with an RBI single and then having Bradlee Beesley put the Cubs in front for good with a two-run single later in the fifth to put the Cubs up 3-1. With the score still sitting at 3-1, the Cubs added a huge insurance run, with Great Lakes gifting them an error to make things 4-1. Great Lakes got one of those runs back in the ninth on the Dalton Rushing homer, but it was the Cubs game to win, and they did.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS vs. AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS (PPD)

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