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Cubs Minor League News: Mervis homers, Strumpf raking, Vazquez hits two homers, more
Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs

Cubs Minor League News: Mervis homers, Strumpf raking, Vazquez hits two homers, more


by - Senior Writer -

Wednesday was not your typical Wednesday as two Rookie League teams were mixed with the four full-season teams. Ironically, the two Rookie Squads hailed from the DSL as they were set to continue their suspended contests from Monday.

Overall, the Cubs posted a 3-3 record, but taking the Rookie League games out, you had a 3-1 showing. That is all you can ask to start a week, as the full-season squads have been on quite a roll.

IOWA CUBS 20 - OMAHA STORM CHASERS 1

Talk about an offensive onslaught on Wednesday night, led by the 13 combined RBIs from Luis Vazquez and Chase Strumpf, the Cubs offense came to play as they destroyed the Storm Chasers on Wednesday. Anytime you get an offensive output like this, it makes life easier for the pitching staff, especially when you must go with a bullpen game again.

This game was over almost as quickly as it started, as the Cubs bashed four homers in the first inning to take an 8-0 lead. PJ Higgins struck first to make things 2-0, with Matt Mervis extending the lead to 3-0.

The big blow in the first came from Vazquez as his three-run shot made things 6-0, with Yonathan Perlaza ending the scoring binge with a two-run shot to give the Cubs an 8-0 lead.

That was all of their offense until the fifth inning, when an error pushed across another run to make things 9-0. Once the sixth inning started, it was all Cubs again as they pushed across 11 more runs the rest of the way. Three came on the Strumpf homer in the sixth as the Cubs were now in front 12-0.

Strumpf was just getting started as he left the yard again in the eighth, with this one coming as a grand slam as the Cubs opened up a 16-0 lead.

The lone run of the night for Omaha came in the bottom of the eighth as Adeiny Hechavarria took Keegan Thompson out of the park to right and made things 16-1.

Hechavarria has homered in two straight games and has seen the ball well against the Cubs this season. With just three outs standing between them and the end of the game, the Cubs continued to add on in the ninth, with Pete Crow-Armstrong picking up an RBI single ahead of another three-run shot from Vazquez to give the Cubs a 20-1 win.

Perlaza was one of four players with three hits as he was joined by Alexander Canario, Strumpf, and Vazquez. Crow-Armstrong added two hits, with Jake Slaughter, the lone starter, not to record a hit.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 4 - BILOXI SHUCKERS 2

Coming off a massive offensive night on Tuesday, the Smokies relied on their pitching to double up Biloxi Wednesday night. Kohl Franklin was the man of the hour for the Smokies as he gave the Smokies five shutout innings allowing just one hit and striking out three. Franklin had to be on top of his game as Jacob Misiorowski struck out nine Smokies in 3 2/3 innings of work.

It's always nice to give your pitcher instant offensive support, and the Smokies offense backed Franklin with a pair of early runs. Biloxi gifted the Smokies a run in the first inning with an error leading to the game's first run, while Levi Jordan added a sacrifice fly in the second to put the Smokies in front 2-0.

Jordan was the story offensively in this one, as he provided the game-winning hit with a two-run single in the fifth to extend the Smokie's lead to 4-0. With their shutout intact in the seventh, Zavier Warren ended that as his two-run single cut the Smokie's deficit to 4-2. Riley Martin and Blake Whitney took care of the rest from there as they finished things off to give the Smokies another win.

Jordan had the hot hand offensively, picking up two hits and a team-high three RBIs in the win. Pablo Aliendo matched him with two hits as the Smokies delivered eight hits in the win.

LAKE COUNTY CAPTAINS 10 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 4

You have to feel for the South Bend Cubs this season. Just one year after winning it all, things have been a struggle, especially since the beginning of June, as they haven't been able to string wins together. Even when they play well enough to win, they have one bad inning, as a six-run fourth is all Lake County needed.

Tyler Santana was strong early on and allowed two runs in three innings with five punchouts. The more significant issue was watching Michael McAvene surrender five earned runs while Parker Messick carved up the Cubs hitters through five innings. Sure, the Cubs did manage to pick up three hits against him, but he also struck out 11 in his five innings, making the South Bend hitters look silly at times.

Chase DeLauter opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third to put the Captains in front 1-0, but it was the fourth inning when they put things away. Singles from DeLauter and Will Bartlet brought home two runs in that inning, while a bases-loaded walk and wild pitch led to two more. There was also a two-run double from Jake Fox mixed in as the Captains scored six times to take a 7-0 lead.

Delauter continued his massive game in the sixth with another RBI single to help extend the lead to 8-0. It took eight innings for the Cubs to get on the board, with Christian Franklin taking a bases-loaded walk to make things 8-1. Throw in an RBI forceout from Ed Howard and a Luis Verdugo sacrifice fly, and the Cubs were trying to battle back only to be down 8-3.

That was as close as things would get as Joe Lampe picked up a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth, with James Triantos closing out the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the ninth as the Cubs fell 10-4. South Bend was held to six hits, with Jacob Wetzel and Matt Shaw leading the way with two. Since arriving in South Bend, Shaw has more than held his own, hitting .292.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 4 - FAYETTEVILLE WOODPECKERS 2

Much like the Smokies, the offense was the story for the Pelicans on Tuesday, only to have their pitching take over on Wednesday. Having a quick strike offense certainly helps, as Jackson Ferris was backed by a three-run first, which was good enough to get the job done.

Ferris has been quietly sitting under the radar this season but has been an excellent starter this year. Ferris gave the Pelicans four innings on the mound, walking three and striking out three. He did allow a run, but the offense did more than enough against Carlos Espinosa early on to pick up the win.

The best way to gain momentum is by taking it from your opponent before they even settle in. With rookie Brett Bateman picking up an RBI double in the bottom of the first, it was the Birds leading 1-0 as they never looked back. Fellow rookie Brian Kalmer added to that lead as he picked up his second homer in as many games to put Myrtle Beach in front 3-0.

The long ball played a key role early as Ryan Johnson put Fayetteville on the board with a homer in the second before Brice Matthews pulled them within one in the fifth with his solo shot. That was as close as things would get as the Pelicans added another run in the sixth to double up Fayetteville 4-2.

Bateman led the offense with two hits and was joined by Cristian Hernandez.

DSL DODGERS 7 - DSL CUBS RED 3

After falling behind 7-2 after just two innings, the Cubs pitching kicked it into gear and didn't allow a run the rest of the way. Their problem was an offense that dug themselves a significant hole too big to climb out of. The first two runs by the Cubs came on a pair of wild pitches in the first as they trailed 4-2 after one. Following three more runs by the Dodgers in the second to build a 7-2 lead, Andrws Cruz picked up the lone RBI for the Cubs picking up an RBI single in the fourth to close out the scoring.

DSL DIAMONDBACKS 3 - DSL CUBS BLUE 1

Unlike the DSL Red game that was two innings in when suspended, this game saw six batters take the field before things ended. With things picking back up in the bottom of the first, the Diamondbacks grabbed the lead on a costly throwing error and would never look back.

The Cubs continued to make costly mistakes, with a balk leading to the second run in the third, while a Pedro Catuy homer put the Diamondbacks up 3-0 in the fifth. That was the game's final run for the Diamondbacks, but it would be enough as the Cubs didn't score until the seventh when a wild pitch pushed home their lone run.

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