Cubs Minors Daily: Tyler Ladendorf homers in I-Cubs loss


by - Senior Writer -
Ladendorf had two hits including a homer in the loss (Photo via Iowa Cubs)
Ladendorf had two hits including a homer in the loss (Photo via Iowa Cubs)

Wednesday signaled the beginning of the last week of AAA action as the Iowa Cubs opened their final five-game series at home against Omaha. Of all the teams the Cubs had an opportunity to face, this was a team they probably never wanted to see as they sit with a 51-75 record this season.

On the other hand, Omaha is 70-56, but that record is a bit deceiving when you look at the team they have assembled. Not only have they gotten plenty of good pitching performances, especially during the second half, but they have one of the best if not the most potent offenses in AAA. That will happen when you have a trio of players who will all make the Royals MLB roster next season, and all three of those guys have given the Cubs fits this season.

OMAHA STORM CHASERS 10 – IOWA CUBS 5

The lone minor league team in action last night was Iowa, who gets to finish their season at home in front of their fans. Hoping to at worst come away with a series win over Omaha, the Cubs are going to have to play lights out the rest of the week, dropping their first game of the series 10-5.

Blake Whitney made just his second start of the season and first with Iowa as the Cubs will try some different things this week. Whitney didn't last long, going just three innings, but held his own, allowing two runs on five hits. The bullpen struggled with Bryan Hudson, Erich Uelmen, and Jackson McClelland all getting roughed up for multiple runs, with Hudson struggling the most.

Neither team did anything in the first inning, but the Omaha offense started to heat up once the second inning began. An Erick Mejia triple put the Storm Chasers on the board first as that hit put them in front 1-0. One inning later, and Nick Pratto extended that lead as his sacrifice fly had the Storm Chasers in front 2-0.

Despite their season not going as planned, no one will fault the fight of this Cubs team as they continue to battle no matter what the scoreboard says. Trailing by a pair in the bottom of the third, Jared Young took matters into his own hands as his fifth homer of the season brought things even once again 2-2. That could be considered a moral victory at this point as the fifth inning turned into an absolute nightmare of an inning.

Not only did Angelo Castellanos lead things off with a double, but three straight walks followed, including the bases-loaded walk to Emmanuel Rivera to give Omaha the lead for good. An error allowed Bobby Witt to reach base while pushing home another run before the MJ Melendrez double capped off the four-run inning with the Cubs now trailing 6-2.

One inning later, the same story with Lucius Fox unloading for his third homer of the season and extending the Omaha lead to 8-2 at this point. Fortunately for the Cubs, they were not going to go down without a fight closing the deficit to 8-4 in the bottom of the sixth after Tyler Ladendorf left the yard for his eighth homer of the season.

Home runs continue to be part of the Omaha game, and despite the normal boppers being held in check, they still connected for a pair of long balls. The second one came from Dairon Blanco in the seventh as his fourth homer of the season stretched the lead back to 9-4. Witt capped off the scoring for Omaha later in that inning with a sacrifice fly as the Cubs continued to trail 10-4.

Although a quiet night of his own, Brennen Davis did show a lot at the plate working three walks to go with a hit. That hit provided the game's final RBI as his double in the bottom of the seventh scored Ian Miller to close the gap to 10-5. That would be as close as Iowa would get on the night, and they suffered a 10-5 defeat to drop the first game of their final series of 2021.

Not only did Young and Ladendorf connect for a pair of hits, but they nearly had identical nights, with each of them going deep for a two-run shot to lead the offense. Christopher Morel seems to be figuring it out at the AAA level, adding two more hits to his line while pushing his average to .318. Miller, Davis, and Levi Jordan added the remaining three hits as Davis maintains his .333 average at the AAA level.

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