Down on Cubs Farm: Ian Happ’s multi-homer game, Hoerner homers, South bend rolls
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

Down on Cubs Farm: Ian Happ’s multi-homer game, Hoerner homers, South bend rolls

by - Senior Writer -

The Cubs had a very competitive night on the diamond as two late runs prevented them from going 4-1 on the night. Still, a 2-3 night may not get your juices flowing but the competitive nature of all five games is positive going forward.

IOWA CUBS 9 – Memphis Red Birds 8: In another tightly contested contest on Friday, The Cubs managed to once again score late in the ball game to hold off the Red Birds 9-8. Newly promoted Tyson Miller was making his AAA debut after dominating at the AA level all season long. Miller found out the hard way that AAA is far different from AA as he lasted just 1 1/3 allowing 5ER in a no-decision as the offense did their part to back him up.

After Memphis got on the board first courtesy of an Adolis Garcia first-inning double, the Cubs responded in the bottom of the first when Ian Happ ended a long homerless drought with his 12th bomb of the season to put Iowa in front 2-1. That lead was short lived as the Red Birds busted out the big sticks in the second inning to push across six runs as Edmundo Sosa delivered a Grand Slam to give Memphis a convincing 7-2 lead.

That early deficit didn’t phase Iowa as they continued to push across plenty of early runs themselves at the plate. Happ had his best day at the plate in a while as he hit his second homer in as many plate appearances for a 3-1 lead.

Mark Zagunis followed that up with a solo shot of his own ahead of a wild pitch later that inning to bring things within 7-5. Dixon Machado continued to use the long ball for Iowa as his 10th homer of the season brought things even once again 7-7 as the teams headed to the fourth.

With both offenses briefly cooling off, it was the Red Birds retaking the lead in the sixth when Randy Arozarena doubled home the go-ahead run to make it an 8-7 game. With the Cubs down to their final six outs and still trailing by one, Trent Giambrone made sure the team wouldn’t go down without a fight as his single made things an 8-8 game. That set the stage for Donnie Dewees who delivered the go-ahead and winning single as Dillon Maples slammed the door shut in the ninth for his fourth save and a 9-8 Iowa win.

The Cubs keep rolling into the all-star break as they are 51-37 for the season. The Cubs received multi-hit efforts from Phillip Evans, Zagunis and Happ, as Happ had a great night with two homers and 3RBI’s. Five other players picked up a hit in the game with Taylor Davis being one of those guys going 1-3. Matt Swarmer was the key to this game as he tossed five innings of 1ER ball in relief to give the offense a chance at a win.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 5 – Montgomery Biscuits 6 (10 innings): The Smokies can’t buy a win right now as they turned to recently promoted Alexander Vargas on the hill making his first start for AA. Although roughed up a bit at times allowing five runs (4ER), Vargas was able to get through five innings to give his team a chance before the Smokies fell in extras 6-5.

Down 1-0 in the top of the second, the Smokies were able to bring things back to even when Gioskar Amaya lined a single to left field to score Vimael Machin. Amaya was thrown out trying to take second on the play, but the run did score to make it a 1-1 game. Nico Hoerner then followed that up in the third inning with his second homer of the season and first since coming off the IL giving the Smokies a 3-1 lead.

After opening the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the first, Taylor Walls continued to have an excellent game picking up a single in the third to make it a 3-2 game. One inning later it was Smokies killer Brett Sullivan picking up an RBI double to tie things up ahead of David Rodriguez sacrifice fly and just like that the Biscuits had a 4-3 as the teams headed to the fifth inning. It was in that inning when the Smokies struck again as Hoerner cleared the bases with a triple to make it 4-4 before Jared Young put Tennessee back on top 5-4 with an RBI groundout.

The back and forth affair continued in the bottom of the fifth when Kevin Padlo doubled home the tying run to chase Vargas as we had a 5-5 game with a battle of the bullpens set to get underway. Padlo’s night was getting started as he played the hero in this one. With the score tied 5-5 and in the bottom of the 10th, it was Padlo coming through again with a sacrifice fly as the Biscuits walk off the Smokies 6-5 in 10 innings.

Tennessee continues their slide as they fall to 39-46 for the season. The Smokies received a trio of multi-hit efforts from Charcer Burks, Amaya and Hoerner but it was Hoerner leading the offense as he made his two hits count with 3RBI’s. After the up and down start from Vargas, the bullpen trio of Ben Hecht, Wyatt Short, and Bailey Clark was phenomenal as they allowed just that 1ER in 4 2/3 innings of relief.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 3 – Lynchburg Hillcats 4: With Jack Patterson making his Pelicans debut on the hill, Myrtle Beach was looking for another win as their offense has started to click at the right time. Although Patterson lasted just four innings, his outing was impressive, to say the least allowing only one hit, but the bullpen couldn’t hold things late as the Hillcats scored a pair in the ninth to walk off Myrtle Beach 4-3.

Runs were undoubtedly tough to come by early on as both teams were kept off the scoreboard through four innings. It was in the fifth when both sides were finally able to break through as Kevonte Mitchell went deep for the 10th time in the top of the fifth to give the Pels a 1-0 lead. That lead quickly evaporated in the bottom of the fifth as Tyler Friis tied things up 1-1 with his first homer of the season before Jodd Carter added a single later to put Lynchburg in front 2-1.

With that score still intact and both bullpens now in control of the game, the teams headed to the eighth inning with someone looking to break through. It appeared that the Pelicans were going to steal this victory as Tyler Durna tied things up 2-2 with an RBI force out but an error on the play not only allowed Durna to reach but gave the Pelicans a 3-2 lead as two runs came around to score.

Now, in the bottom of the ninth, the Pelicans turned to Jesus Camargo in hopes of him locking things down for another win. Camargo was in a world of trouble as he loaded the bases with two outs. The struggles continued as Camargo hit Gavin Sheets to bring home the tying run as the bases remained loaded. One pitch later it was Will Benson coming through with a single to give the Hillcats a walk-off 4-3 win.

Myrtle Beach is 30-53 on the season but their second half continues to be much better as several new players are contributing to the roster. Jimmy Herron was the lone player with a multi-hit effort as six others picked up at least one hit in the game. Delvin Zinn and Miguel Amaya were two of those players as both are on a lovely stretch of play right now.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 5 – West Michigan Whitecaps 1: In a combination of strong pitching and timely hitting, the Cubs played a complete all-around game as they topped the White Caps 5-1 to end their series on a positive note. Getting the start was Faustino Carrera who certainly did his part on the hill going six innings and allowing 1ER while the offense and bullpen took care of the rest.

South Bend opened the scoring in the second inning as Christopher Morel remained red-hot with his sixth homer of the season and 1-0 lead. West Michigan responded in the bottom of the second as Wenceel Perez knotted things up 1-1 with an RBI single before advancing to second on the same play. Not only did Carrera work around that, but he was flawless the rest of the game needing just one more of support to pick up the win.

He got that run in the fourth inning when guess who; Morel picked up his second RBI of the game with a single as that proved to be the game-winning run for South Bend 2-1. After spending some time in AA Tennessee, Clayton Daniel is now with South Bend as he added to the lead in the fifth inning with a double to make things 3-1.

Daniel was not finished on the evening just yet, as he picked up a single in the seventh inning to bring home a pair as the Cubs were now in front 5-1. That would be all the offense the Cubs needed as recently promoted Casey Ryan, and Ethan Roberts allowed just 1H in relief to lift South Bend to the 5-1 win.

The Cubs will continue their road trip Saturday as they sit at 45-38 for the season. Brennan Davis, Moral, and Daniel all had multi-hit efforts, but it was Moral and Daniel accounting for all 5 RBI’s in the win. Jonathan Sierra went 1-3 on the night while Cole Roederer was hitless. Carrera lowered his ERA to 2.63 with the win while Roberts is now at 2.57.

EUGENE EMERALDS 4 – Everett Aqua Sox 10: It was a game of firsts on Friday as five new players made their season debut with the Emeralds in front of the home fans. Unfortunately for Eugene, the night would end on a sour note as the Aqua Sox beat up on Eugene pitching once again to cruise to the 10-4 victory.

Pitching was certainly an issue as both Didier Vargas and Maikel Aguiar got lit up for 10ER in just 5 1/3 innings on the hill. Three of those runs came immediately in the first inning as Everett took control of the game for good with a 3-0 lead just half an inning in. Eugene did their best to battle back in the bottom of the first when Nelson Maldonado made it a 3-1 game on a sacrifice fly, but a two-run second inning anchored by the Austin Shenton double made things 5-1 Aqua Sox.

That lead ballooned to 10-1 in the sixth as the Aqua Sox looked to have the game out of reach with five runs over the fifth and sixth innings as four different players contributed to at least one RBI. Down but not out, the Emeralds began to fight back in the bottom of the eighth when Luis Vazquez made it a 10-3 game with his first homer of the season. Fernando Kelli later added a run with a double, but it was nowhere near enough as the Emeralds fell to 9-13 on the season with a 10-4 loss.

Kelli, Maldonado and Grayson Byrd all had multi-hit efforts in the win with Maldonado and Kelli adding an RBI with their efforts. Chase Strumpf had a rough outing in this one, going 0-5 with 4K’s. John Pomeroy made his short-season debut for Eugene, going 1 2/3 scoreless innings allowing just one hit on the night. Riley McCauley continued his steady work out of the pen tossing two perfect innings with 3K’s to bring his ERA to 1.69.

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