Cubs Minors Daily: Andrew Romine impressive, South Bend loses by 14, Pelicans win, more


by - Senior Writer -
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

Things have been rough sailing this week for the Cubs minor league system, as wins have been hard to come by. Last night was a prime example of how difficult the wins have been as the system went 1-3 on the night with only one of those games being close.

Not only did the team struggle to score runs, but they allowed 30 runs in two contests and a total of 37 runs on the night. That isn't going to get it done, and they know they need to be better if they want to start winning games consistently again.

OMAHA STORM CHASERS 13 – IOWA CUBS 8

The one game that was the most exciting one to watch came from the AAA side of things as the Cubs and Storm Chasers combined for 21 runs. The Cubs were on the short end of the stick, but overall, the offense played great. After a strong showing in Tennessee this season, Matt Swarmer was called up to take Kohl Franklin's spot in the rotation, and it was a rude welcome. He was charged with seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of work, including a six-run third that put the game out of reach.

The Cubs' lone lead had come in the top of the second when Ian Miller connected for an RBI single. However, that lead was short-lived as the suddenly scorching Ryan O'Hearn tied things up with his third homer of the series before the offense went to work in the third. O'Hearn got things started in that inning with a go-ahead RBI single before Ryan McBroom and Gabriel Cancel homers pushed the Omaha lead to 5-1. Anderson Miller added a single with Alcides Escobar adding a double, and suddenly Iowa trailed 7-1.

Iowa tried to keep things close in the fourth as Michael Hermosillo connected for his first homer of the season to bring things to 7-3 before the Miller double closed the gap to 7-4. However, across the next three innings, Omaha benefitted from two more homers as they pushed across six more runs to take command of the game 13-4, heading to the eighth.

Tyler Ladendorf put an end to that run with an RBI ground out in the eighth, followed by Miller and his groundout. Dee Strange-Gordon connected for an eighth-inning RBI single of his own, with Andrew Romine capping off the scoring by hitting his first homer of the season in the ninth. Romine also threw an inning on the mound as the Cubs fell 13-8.

The Cubs had 12 hits in the ball game, but Tony Wolters and Romine had the hot hand with three hits each. Miller and Hermosillo added two hits of their own while they provided most of the offense combining for five RBIs.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS 6 – TENNESSEE SMOKIES 1

It was a very quiet night offensively for the Smokies, as they were held to just two hits against the Barons pitching staff. Couple that with a three-run third inning, and that was too much for them to overcome, falling 6-1. Cam Sanders was on the hill, and for the most part, he pitched well.

Sanders lasted 5 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs on seven hits, although only four were earned. He walked one-hitter to go with a season-high eight strikeouts as he continues to pitch well at the AA level. Three of the four runs he allowed came in the third inning after the Connor Myers double in the top half gave Tennessee a 1-0 lead.

With one swing of the bat, Jameson Fisher took a one-run deficit and turned into a Barons lead they wouldn't relinquish as his three-run shot put Birmingham on top 3-1. The Barons continued to build on that lead in the fifth, using a Romy Gonzalez RBI grounder to go on top 4-1, before a Mitch Roman single chased Sanders in the sixth with the Smokies down 5-1. Birmingham was able to add another runoff, a Bryan Hudson wild pitch which was the final run in a 6-1 defeat.

A big reason for the Smokies struggles came from Blake Battenfield, who improved to 4-0 with a 2.32 ERA in his six starts this season. Outside of the Myers hit, Nelson Maldonado picked up the second of the two Smokies hits as there were not able to get much done offensively. Brennan Davis was the only other baserunner for Tennessee as he worked a walk. Christopher Morel and Chase Strumpf were not only hitless but struck out four times in the losing effort.

LANSING LUGNUTS 17 – SOUTH BEND CUBS 3

The Cubs wasted a solid pitching performance from Brad Deppermann, as the bullpen allowed 15 runs in just four innings of work. Deppermann was on his game in his four innings of work, allowing just two runs on just two hits to go with three strikeouts as he departed with a 3-2 lead.

Those three South Bend runs not only came in the top of the third inning, but it was all the offense the team would generate, starting with a bases-loaded walk to Yonathan Perlaza. Jake Slaughter followed that up with an RBI single ahead of a Bryce Windham double play as the South Bend offense jumped on top 3-0 early.

Lansing was able to close within 3-2 in the bottom of the third using a Ryan Gridley RBI double and a Jake Suddleson sacrifice fly to get that done. However, that was just the start of their offense, as they closed out the game with 17 unanswered runs. Still down a run in the fifth, the Lugnuts tied things up with a balk before Suddleson put the Lugnuts on top for good with his second sacrifice fly of the game, making it 4-3.

That is when the flood gates opened as the South Bend bullpen was having a rough go of things. Not only did they allow eight runs in the sixth, but Lansing added another run in the seventh before pushing home four more in the eighth. In total, 17 runs came across home plate in a 17-3 beatdown of the Cubs. Not only was Perlaza credited with one of the two RBIs, but he led the way with two hits, joining Josue Huma in that category.

Slaughter picked up the only other hit and RBI in the loss, with Edmond Americaan going hitless for the first time since joining South Bend. Nelson Velazquez was also held hitless and has cooled off since his blazing start.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 1 – COLUMBIA FIREFLIES 0

The lone victor on the field Friday night was the Pelicans as they walked off the Fireflies 1-0. After the game was suspended in the sixth tied 0-0, the teams took the field with hopes of finishing this game and playing a second game later.

Not only did they finish this game, but they did so in winning fashion as the Raymond Pena ninth inning fielder's choice was all the offense in what was a 1-0 win. Friday's originally scheduled game was postponed due to rain, and now the teams will have a doubleheader on Saturday.

NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH 10 – CENTRAL MICHIGAN CHIPPEWAS 0

I know this isn't minor league related, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish kicked off their quest for the NCAA tournament, winning their first regional game 10-0 over the Central Michigan Chippewas.

After a slow start to the game that saw both teams tied 0-0 through three innings, the Irish bats came to life in the fourth, using four homers to put away the Chippewas. A fourth-inning Carter Putz RBI groundout put the Irish on top before Nico Kavadas stole the show. Amid an 0-10 slump in which he struck out eight straight times, Kavadas busted out of that slump with not one but two two-run homers, both of which traveled 450 feet plus helping to give the Golden Domers a 6-0 lead.

David LaManna and Ryan Cole added a pair of two-run shots in the sixth, joining Kavadas that inning as the Irish belted three homers in the sixth to take a 10-0 lead. Cole also had an RBI double in the game as that was more than enough for John Bertrand, who went the distance on the mound allowing just five hits to go with six strikeouts. Notre Dame will now face the UCONN Huskies at 5 PM on Saturday with a shot at the Regional final on the line.

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