Cubs Minor League News: Young with 4 hits, Strumpf raking, Gray impressive, more
Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs

Cubs Minor League News: Young with 4 hits, Strumpf raking, Gray impressive, more

by - Senior Writer -

Wins have been hard to come by for the Cubs and their system lately, which continued again on Thursday. While one long losing streak ended, another reached six games, crushing the playoff hopes for one team in the process. The Cubs then went on to post a 1-3 record, which isn't going to cut it this time of year.


With the win by the Tennessee Smokies, which we will get into in a little while, the Iowa Cubs now have the longest losing streak in the system as it has reached six games. This week has a bit of 2021 attached to it when the Omaha Storm Chasers ultimately had the Cubs number for what seemed like forever.

One of the lone remaining starters left for Iowa is Nick Niedert, who deserved better in this one. Yes, his final line will show that he allowed five runs in five innings, but when you only allow two earned runs, your defense isn't helping you out. He matched Andrew Hoffman pitch for pitch as the Omaha righty allowed just two runs, but the Cubs offense struggled to get the big hit in this one.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, the Cubs hottest hitter Jared Young came through again as his RBI single tied things up 1-1. That score would hold until the third when Omaha retook the lead 2-1, only to see Young tie things up with another homer in the bottom of the inning.

That was it for the Cubs offense as the Storm Chasers ended the game with eight unanswered runs.

Nick Eaton delivered the game-winning run with a homer in the third while adding a two-run double in the fifth to make things 5-2. Omaha then used a pair of sacrifice flies in the seventh to push across two runs while RBI doubles from Devin Mann, Angelo Castellano, and Samad Taylor brought home the remaining runs late. Young has been on a mission this entire week and, with four more hits and two RBIs, has raised his average to .312. Chase Strumpf picked up two hits, with Pete Crow-Armstrong grabbing one.


Sometimes all it takes is to find a way to win a ball game, which the Smokies just did. Despite being outhit 3-1 by the Braves, the Smokies only needed one run as they ended their eight-game losing streak. Walker Powell was lights out on the mound for Tennessee as he gave them six shutout innings with six punchouts. He allowed three hits before handing it off to Eduarniel Nunez and Hunter Bigge, who struck out five in two relief outings.

Opposing Powell Luis De Avilla who carved up the Smokies all night. De Avilla went six innings, allowing just the one-hit and striking out 11. The lone hit for Tennessee came from Owen Caissie, but it wasn't a homer or anything like that. The game's lone run for either side came in the eighth when Nelson Maldonado worked a bases-loaded walk to take the lead before holding on by that score.


After getting dominated in their first two games of the week, Quad Cities cooled the Cubs off for one night as they took care of business 5-4. Grant Kipp will close out the High-A portion of his season without a win as he gave the Cubs five innings of four-run ball and fell to 0-3 with an ERA north of 8.00.

He went up against Ryan Ramsey, who allowed three runs (2ER) in five innings with six strikeouts, while Cruz Noriega finished off the final four innings, allowing one run and striking out five. It didn't take Quad Cities long to score off of Kipp as Kale Emshoff ripped an RBI single in the first to put Quad Cities in front 2-0.

It was a rare lead for the River Bandits that didn't last long as the Cubs started to fight back quickly. Coming off his massive game on Wednesday, James Triantos was at it again as his RBI single in the third brought things back to even 2-2. That set the stage for Emshoff, who was the team's offense in the early going, as he homered in the fourth to put the River Bandits back in front 3-2 before adding a double in the fifth.

Felix Stevens also had an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, but at this point, it was Emshoff 4- and the Cubs 3. Already with four RBIs, why not make it five as Emshoff homered for the second time in the seventh and put the River Bandits on top 5-3. He drove in all five for Quad Cities as the Cubs had no answers for him.

Trailing by a pair in the seventh, Kevin Alcantara took it upon himself to try and lead the Cubs back as his RBI single made things 5-4. Unfortunately, they couldn't get any closer and would fall by that score.


Despite the loss on Thursday, the Pelicans are still happy with how they are playing, as their pitching has been much better lately. Despite lasting just three innings, Drew Gray was solid on the mound as he allowed just one run and struck out five. He was followed by Luis Rujiano, who served up two runs in one inning while the offense struggled to get anything going against Ben Hernandez.

The right-hander handcuffed the Pelicans all night and got through six solid innings for Columbia. He walked three, struck out one, but most importantly, allowed just one run on five hits. With Gray uncorking a wild pitch in the first to give Columbia an early lead, Ismael Mena came through in the second as his RBI single tied things. That was it for their offense, as they never seemed comfortable in this one.

Columbia pushed across the winning run on a fourth-inning single from Lizandro Rodriguez to make things 2-1 with another wild pitch extending the lead to 3-1. The Pelicans continued to hurt themselves later in the game as an error led to another run in a 4-1 loss.

Pedro Ramirez and David Avitia led the offense with two hits in the loss.

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