Down on the Cubs Farm: 3-1 record, Clifton impressive, Dewees raking, more

Down on the Cubs Farm: 3-1 record, Clifton impressive, Dewees raking, more

by - Senior Writer -

It was a great night on the farm for the Cubs as they managed to go 3-1 on the evening. The strange part about that is the lone loss came from the best team in the system as Iowa dropped a close one ending their winning streak in the process.

IOWA CUBS 1 – Memphis Redbirds 2: Looking for their best start in franchise history with a win, the Cubs turned to Trevor Clifton on the mound looking to continue his impressive season. Clifton certainly delivered, going six innings of one-run ball to lower his ERA to 1.19 on the season. Unfortunately, a late Memphis run off of Dillon Maples was the difference as the Redbirds pulled it out 2-1.

It was all about the long ball in this one, as all three runs were scored via the solo home run. Wynton Bernard opened the scoring in the second inning with his first of the season to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead through two. Andrew Knizner tied things up 1-1 in the bottom of the third with his third of the season before both starters held their opponents at bay from that point forward.

With the bullpens now in charge of the game, it was the Redbirds getting the upper hand in the seventh touching Maples for a solo shot and 2-1 lead. Rangel Ravelo went deep for his third time in 2019 to put Memphis in front for good as the Cubs offense was limited to just one run despite eight hits in the game.

Donnie Dewees collected two more hits to push his average to .354 on the season which ranks among the best in AAA. Phillip Evans and Bernard also collected a pair of hits while Ian Happ and Dixon Machado picked up the remaining two. James Norwood threw a scoreless inning of relief to lower his ERA to 3.46 on the year.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 6 – Chattanooga Lookouts 5: The Smokies are still looking to get back on track and play at the level they were showing us early in the season. With Thomas Hatch on the mound looking to turn his season around, maybe a strong start could be a step in the right direction for the remainder of the season. Hatch showed a ton of improvement, going five innings with three runs allowed as the Smokies held on for the 6-5 win.

After falling behind 1-0 early on the Tyler Stephenson home run, the Smokies bats came to life in the third with a big inning. Connor Myers got things started with a deep double to center to put himself in scoring position with no outs. With a fielder’s choice moving him to third, Roberto Caro tied things up 1-1 with an RBI fielder’s choice. Caro would then steal second before advancing to third on an error, as Vimael Machin put Tennessee up 2-1 with a single.

Back to back walks to P.J. Higgins and Robel Garcia extended the inning as the bases were now loaded with just one out. Christian Donahue pushed the Smokies lead to 3-1 with his sacrifice fly capping off a big inning at the plate. That lead was short-lived, as the Lookouts tied things up 3-3 in the bottom half of the inning as a TJ Friedl and Taylor Trammell accounted for those RBI’s.

With the game tied in the fifth, the Smokies were looking to retake the lead. Not only did they do that, but they seized complete control with just one swing. Already with two runners on, Donahue drove one over the fence for his first of the season and just like that it was 6-3 Smokies as their bullpen entered the game.

The Lookouts were happy to see the bullpen in this one as they immediately went to work on Michael Rucker in the sixth. An Alfredo Rodriquez RBI single added with a Friedl RBI single brought the deficit to 6-5 as Tennessee was on the ropes. Fortunately, for the Smokies, they were able to settle down as Craig Brooks picked up the two-inning save for his sixth of the season. Brooks ERA is 0.66 this season.

Tennessee is now back to .500 at 16-16 following their win as they look to put together a nice winning streak. Donahue was the man of the day picking up three hits and four RBI’s in the contest. Machin added a pair of hits as those were the only two who accounted for more than one hit in the victory.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 4 – Down East Wood Ducks 2: Suddenly the Pelicans look like a tough out in the Carolina league as they put together their fifth straight win and second consecutive against first-place Down East (23-10) with a 4-2 win. Paul Richan took the ball and was dominate to improve to (3-2) on the season. In his six innings, Richan allowed just one run on five hits while striking out eight. He also did not walk a hitter as his ERA fell to 3.64.

It was the Wood Ducks grabbing the lead first in the second inning as Melvin Novoa doubled home the first run of the game for the 1-0 lead. Jimmy Herron tied things up 1-1 in the third with a single as Myrtle Beach continued to show great heart against Down East. With the score still tied 1-1 through five, the Pelicans offense began to come through putting up three runs over the next three innings.

Consecutive singles from Cam Balego and Grant Fennell got the inning started before a sacrifice bunt moved them both up 90 feet. Jhonny Bethencourt gave the Pelicans the lead for good 2-1 with a sacrifice fly before stranding one more runner on base. Fortunately for the Pelicans, that baserunner didn’t seem to matter as a Tyler Payne single in the seventh proved to be the game-winning run with Myrtle Beach up 3-1 through seven.

Looking to bust the game open in the eighth, the Pelicans loaded the bases off of three walks as one hit very well could be the knockout blow. With two outs, Miguel Amaya stepped up to the plate. Although he may not have gotten a hit, his patience proved to be equally important as his walk pushed home another run for the 4-1 lead. Down East added a ninth-inning run on a Novoa single, but it was too little too late as Myrtle Beach picked up another win 4-2.

With the win, Myrtle Beach is now 12-21 as they are back to single digits under .500. Amaya had a big night at the plate going 1-1, but taking three walks in the win. Balego was the lone player with multiple hits as the Pelicans added ten walks in the victory. Ryan Kellogg was solid in relief tossing two scoreless innings in the win and dropping his ERA to 2.42 on the year.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 2 – Cedar Rapids Kernals 1: The lack of offense continued Wednesday night for South Bend as once again the Cubs had to rely on their pitching to win. That didn’t seem to be an issue as Eury Ramos tossed five shutout innings with seven K’s to keep the Cubs in the game before a ninth-inning RBI gave South Bend the Walk off win.

South Bend struck first in the opening frame, as DJ Artis opened things up with a leadoff single before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. With Victor Caratini working a walk to put a pair of runners on, Jonathan Sierra gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead with a sharp single to center. That happened to be the last run for a while as both offenses struggled to get going.

With Ramos now out of the game after his five scoreless innings, Dalton Geekie entered the game trying to preserve the one-run game. After getting into a little bit of trouble, Geekie gift-wrapped a run for the Kernals as a wild pitch allowed Cedar Rapids to tie the game 1-1. That was the lone run of the night for the Kernals as for the most part, their offense was held in check.

Down to their final at-bats in regulation and the game still tied, South Bend wouldn’t go down without one last fight. Christopher Morel set the tone with a leadoff single putting the winning run on base. After an Eric Gonzalez sacrifice bunt moved Morel up to second, Rafael Narea was the hero, hustling down the first base line to force a throwing error as the winning run crossed home plate for the 2-1 South Bend walk-off win.

South Bend is now 17-15 on the season as Ryan Lawlor picked up the win in relief. Artis, Morel and Levi Jordan all picked up two hits as they accounted for six of the eight total hits in the win. Sierra and Tyler Durna added the other two. Cole Roederer was given the night off again as he is dealing with some minor injuries at the moment.

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