Cubs Minor League News: Strumpf raking, Shaw smacks two homers, Trice homers, more
Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs

Cubs Minor League News: Strumpf raking, Shaw smacks two homers, Trice homers, more

by - Senior Writer -

The first full week of Minor League action came to an end, but not in the fashion the Cubs would've liked. Not only did the pitching struggle across the board, but the Cubs saw their organization go 0-4 to end the week as they will now get the day off before some new series can begin.


On Sunday, it was an offensive barrage in AAA, as the Cubs and Saints combined for 24 runs. 13 of those runs came for the Saints, who scored in every inning but two. Neither starter had the best day, but Sam McWilliams was hit hard, surrendering seven runs in his outing.

Most of that damage came in the third inning as the Saints scored six times in that inning to open up an 8-0 lead. Yunior Severino delivered the massive blow with a three-run shot, with Yoyner Fajardo, Dalton Shuffield, and Diego Castillo all adding RBI singles. BJ Murray Jr finally got the Cubs on the board with an RBI single in the top half of the fourth, but after the Chris Williams homer in the bottom half, the Cubs still trailed 9-2.

Alexander Canario did his best to make things closer with an RBI double in the fifth, but the Saints responded, pushing across three more runs to extend their lead to 12-3. The following two innings is when the Cubs offense took over as they took what was a blowout and turned it into an exciting game.

That rally started in the top half of the sixth, with Bryce Windham and Darius Hill adding RBI singles and an RBI forceout making the score 12-6. Iowa then responded with four more runs in the top half of the seventh, with Chase Strumpf and Patrick Wisdom picking up RBI hits, joined by an Owen Caissie groundout. Strumpf would add a homer late in the game to pull the Cubs within 13-11 as the Cubs would fall by that score.


If there was one team that was going to come away with a win on Sunday, it was the Smokies, as they held a 5-4 lead entering the ninth. Then came the bottom of the ninth, when the Lookouts rallied for three runs, including a walk-off two-run blast, to lift them to the 7-5 victory.

Richard Gallardo was on the mound for the Smokies, and despite allowing four runs (3ER), he pitched into the fifth. Gallardo didn't walk a batter and struck out five in an OK first start. Following his outing, you had a mostly strong relief, especially from Michael Arias and Eduarniel Nunez, who combined to toss four scoreless frames before Cayne Ueckert let it get away.

Tennessee wasted no time getting the scoring started. James Triantos picked up an RBI single in the first, and Matt Shaw added a homer in the third to make things 2-0.

Chattanooga responded with a two-run blast from Jack Rogers in the bottom of the third, and just like that, it was a 2-2 game.

With a passed ball putting the Smokies back in front in the fourth, Hayden Cantrelle delivered an RBI triple to extend the lead to 4-2. When you talk about the fast-rising prospects in the Cubs system, Shaw is one of the ones that comes to mind, as his second homer of the game gave the Smokies a 5-3 lead in the fifth as he continues to mash minor league pitching.

Leading 5-4 entering the ninth, the Smokies were just three outs away from finishing things off. Unfortunately, Ueckert picked a horrible time to struggle as Eric Yang tied things up with an RBI single before Rogers walked things off with his second homer of the game to lift the Lookouts to the 7-5 win.


Pitching was definitely not the strong suit within the Cubs system on Saturday, and that continued for South Bend, which dropped its series with a 9-6 loss. This game featured one of the most exciting first innings before the Rattlers took over late.

Wisconsin didn't take long to open the scoring as Luke Adams connected for the three-run shot to put them in front 3-0, with Ramon Rodriguez adding an RBI double later to extend the lead. Not to be outdone, South Bend responded with a trio of RBI singles from Brennen Davis, Pedro Ramirez, and Brian Kalmer, with the Parker Chavers sacrifice fly bringing things back to even 4-4 after one.

Ironically, no more runs would be scored until the fourth inning when the Rattlers not only took the 6-4 lead but pushed their lead to 9-4 with three more runs in the fifth. The Cubs did their best to make a comeback, with Kalmer picking up a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth and Ethan Hearn adding a single in the eighth, but they came up short, falling to Wisconsin 9-6.


Granted, all four of the Cubs affiliates fell on Sunday; Myrtle Beach took the biggest loss, 12-5. Having your starting pitcher, Alfredo Romero, allow six runs in an inning of work doesn't help, as his command was an issue from start to finish.

Daniel Vazquez opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning, while RBI singles from Derlin Figueroa and Erick Pena gave the Fireflies a 3-0 lead in the first. Their offensive barrage continued into the second, with Austin Charles picking up an RBI single as part of another three-run frame to extend their lead to 6-0.

Myrtle Beach got on the board in the top of the third, courtesy of the Jacob Wetzel grounder and an Andy Gariola single, to pull within 6-2, only to be trailing 10-2 after the fifth.

Sometimes, all it takes for momentum to change is one swing of the bat as the Carter Trice homer in the top half of the sixth pulled the Pelicans within 10-5 and had the momentum leaning in their favor.

That was as close as the Birds would get as Columbia tacked on two runs late to secure the 12-5 win.

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