Cubs Minors Daily: I-Cubs lose in extras, SB game postponed, Hearn hits first homer, more


by - Staff Writer -
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

Looking to end the month of June on a positive note, the Cubs minor League system treated the fans to three highly competitive games. That hasn't been the case much of this season, so even with the system going 1-2 on the night, it was great to see some competitive baseball show up across all the levels of competition.

INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS 2 – IOWA CUBS 1 (10 Innings)

There is nothing like a good old-fashioned pitcher's duel in AAA, and that is precisely what the Indians and Cubs brought forth last night. Known for record-setting offenses in 2019, the old PCL and AAA, for that matter, has been a rough go if you are a pitcher. Not only have things changed this season, but they have changed in a big way, with several no-hitters and low-scoring affairs showing up.

Mike Hauschild hasn't been with the Cubs very long, but he is making his presence felt in their rotation. Hauschild was more than impressive in just his third start, dealing six shutout innings allowing just three hits to go with no walks and five strikeouts. His ERA is sitting at 2.92 for the season. Opposing him was Mitch Keller, who looked equally good in his four innings, although he conceded an early run.

That run came in the first inning when Michael Hermosillo continued his excellent season with a sacrifice fly bringing home Ian Miller to give Iowa a 1-0 lead. Little did anyone know, that would be the lone Cubs run and the brunt of the offense as pitching dominated from the start. Following Hauschild and his great start, Justin Steele entered the game in the ninth inning for his second rehab appearance of the season.

After a leadoff error put the tying run on base, Steele uncorked a wild pitch moving Wilmer Difo to second before advancing to third on a groundout. T.J. Rivera was then able to tie the game on a sacrifice fly of his own as Steele continues to rediscover his form since returning from the IL. Over the next several innings, guys like Ben Leeper and Manuel Rodriguez took their turns on the mound as the teams played to 1-1 tie through nine, setting things up for extras.

The Cubs failed to score in their half of the tenth, but the Indians did not, as Christian Bethancourt picked up a walk-off single against Ryan Meisinger to lift the Indians to the 2-1 win. The Cubs collected just six hits in the ball game, with three of them coming from Miller in the leadoff spot. Abiatal Avelino added two hits of his own as the top of the order contributed five of the six hits, with Erick Castillo recording the last. Nick Martini and Trent Giambrone were two of the several players held hitless.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 7 – ROCKET CITY TRASH PANDAS 2

It took nearly two full months, but the Smokies have finally solved the Trash Pandas. After going just 2-10 across the team's first 10 meetings, Tennessee has responded with consecutive wins to open the series relying on outstanding pitching and timely hitting. Erich Uelmen was the latest to put together a strong start, going six innings and allowing just three hits to go with four strikeouts.

His performance on the mound kept the Trash Pandas offense in check, which gave the Smokies offense a chance to make things happen. Although that didn't happen until the sixth, the Smokies made up for it as they pushed across six runs in the sixth to jump in front 6-0. Jared Young played a significant role in that inning as his RBI double not only broke the scoreless tie, but put the Smokies in front 2-0.

That double was followed up by a Chase Strumpf double as he provided the game-winning RBI. Add in a Tyler Payne single and a Christopher Morel double, and the Smokies were in complete control leading 6-0 after six.

On in relief of Uelmen was Bryan Hudson, who was greeted rather rudely in the seventh. Ibandel Isabel continued to crush Tennessee pitching, hitting his ninth homer of the season and fifth off of the Smokies to pull within 6-2.

Fortunately for Tennessee, Hudson was able to recover as that would be the lone runs of the game for Rocket City. Brennen Davis added a homer of his own in the bottom of the seventh to stretch the lead to 7-2 before Wyatt Short closed things out in the ninth to preserve the win. Andy Weber and Young provided strong showings on offense, collecting two hits apiece to go with Young's two RBIs.

Tennessee received five hits from five different players, as Carlos Sepulveda, and Nelson Maldonado were the two players without a hit. Not only did Morel collect two RBIs with his double, but he also worked a walk to raise his average to 208. That is a little deceiving as he is hitting north of 275 in his past 10 games.

SOUTH BEND CUBS vs. LAKE COUNTY CAPTAINS (PPD)

DOWN EAST WOOD DUCKS 2 – MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 1

For the second night in a row, the Pelicans gave the Wood Ducks all they could handle only to come up short 2-1. Buddy Bailey elected to stretch DavidJohn Herz out a bit in this start, and that proved to be a wise decision. Herz allowed just one run on three hits to go with eight punchouts in his five innings of work. His 3.41 ERA remains one of the best on the team as his breakout 2021 continues.

His lone run allowed came in the top of the third when he surrendered a rare homer off the bat of Thomas Saggese, giving Down East a 1-0 lead. Oddly enough, that score would hold up a long time until the Pelicans came to bat in the seventh. With one swing, Ethan Hearn took a one-run deficit and turned it into a tie ball game crushing his first homer of the season.

In what was now a game of bullpens, Bailey Reid was hoping to pitch around some command issues as he walked three and struck out four in 1 1/3 innings of work. Unfortunately for him, he was on the wrong end of things as Hearn attempted to throw Jayce Easley out at third following a called strike and was charged with an error. Easley got up after his slide and scampered home to push across the game-winning run in another 2-1 defeat.

Despite the loss, the Pelicans doubled up the Wood Ducks in the hits category, outhitting them 8-4. Ed Howard, Yohendrick Pinango, and Hearn all had two-hit games to provide most of the offensive punch. Fabian Pertuz and Jaco Wetzel added the final two hits, with Jonathan Sierra and Matt Mervis going hitless.

The Pelicans also received a pair of scoreless outings out of the pen, with Danis Correa going 1 1/3 scoreless frames with a walk and a strikeout, while Carlos Ocampo punched out three in his 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

ACL Cubs (off): As part of the new rules of the Arizona Complex league, all teams will have Wednesdays and Sunday's off on the schedule.

DCL Cubs:/b> Although their season hasn't started, we do have news to announce. Not only will there be a season, but it gets underway on Monday, July 12, and will run through October 2. Look for it to be similar with Wednesday or Sunday as the universal off days. The Cubs are also one of a handful of teams that will have two Dominican rookie teams instead of one.

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