Down on the Cubs Farm: Ian Happ smacks 11th homer, Hannemann hot, Hatch impressive, more
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

Down on the Cubs Farm: Ian Happ smacks 11th homer, Hannemann hot, Hatch impressive, more

by - Senior Writer -

There was finally some excitement on the Farm Monday night as the Cubs managed to go 2-2 on the evening. With Myrtle Beach returning to the diamond for the first time in four days, mixed with the offensive explosion of Iowa to put an end to their skid, plenty was to be liked from Monday’s performances as we near the end of the first half.

IOWA CUBS 13 – Albuquerque Isotopes 4: Sick of their losing streak, the Cubs bats awakened on Monday as they backed Alec Mills with four multi-run innings in the 13-4 blowout win. Mills happened to deliver his best outing of the season to take pressure off of the offense, dealing 6 2/3 innings of 2ER ball to earn the victory (3-2).

Jacob Hannemann got the Cubs on the board first in the bottom of the second as he connected on his fourth home run for the 1-0 lead. That lead was short lived as the Isotopes managed to grab the lead in the top of the second when Tim Melville grounded a two-run single to the right for the 2-1 lead. Not only was that the lone lead of the day for Albuquerque, but the lone two runs they were able to get off of Mills as he was great in this one.

Looking to take the lead once again, the Cubs came to bat in the bottom of the fourth. With one swing, Hannemann put Iowa in front for good 3-2 as he connected for his second homer in as many plate appearances. Ian Happ extended the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth with his 11th homer of the season before Iowa really busted things open in the sixth.

Happ continued his monster game in the bottom of the sixth as his double stretched the lead to 6-2. Jim Adduci followed that up with a two-run single before the Robel Garcia blast made it a 10-2 game capping off a five-run frame. Garcia added a two-RBI double in the bottom of the eighth ahead of another Hannemann RBI as the Cubs were cruising along 13-2 heading to the ninth.

The Isotopes managed to plate a pair of runs in the ninth off an Elliot Soto double and Peter Mooney single to make it 13-4, but it was way too late for a comeback effort with Iowa ending their skid 13-4. At 35-30, the Cubs remain in first place, a full three games ahead of second place Memphis.

Plenty of Cubs had huge games, but it was Hannemann and Happ leading the way. Each of them picked up three hits in the victory with Hannemann driving in four and Happ bringing home three. Garcia also managed to pick up three hits with four RBI’s as those three accounted for 11 of the teams 13 RBI’s. Tony Barnette and Dakota Mekkes tossed scoreless relief appearances in the victory.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 4 – Chattanooga Lookouts 1: After putting an end to their losing streak the night before, the Smokies were looking for the series split as they sent Thomas Hatch to the mound. Hatch, who has been struggling much of the last two months of the season, twirled a dandy allowing just one run in five innings of work while the offense gave him enough support for the win.

It was in the second inning when the Smokies broke through first as one out singles from Clayton Daniel and Gioskar Amaya had a pair of runners on base. Six pitches later it was Jhonny Pereda keeping the line moving, connecting for the third consecutive hit in the inning for a 1-0 Smokies lead. The Lookouts managed to tie the game 1-1 in the top of the third after a Taylor Trammell double, but that would be all they could generate for offense in this one, leaving the door open for Tennessee.

Looking to retake the lead in the bottom of the third, Vimael Machin delivered with just one swing of the bat as his second homer of the season put the Smokies back on top 2-1 and never looked back. A Jared Young single, P.J. Higgins walk and hit by pitch to Daniel followed that up as the bases were now loaded with just one out. Amaya capitalized on that situation with a sacrifice fly extending the lead to 3-1 Smokies.

Amaya was not quite finished on the evening as he put an end to the scoring in the bottom of the fifth inning with a double scoring Higgins and pushing the lead to 4-1. After Jake Stinnett tossed two scoreless innings of relief after Hatch was finished, Wyatt Short continued that trend in the eighth before putting himself in a big ninth inning jam.

With two outs in the ninth, Chattanooga began to rally as an Alfredo Rodriguez double, and Jose Siri single put runners on the corners. Trammell then showed terrific patience at the plate to work a walk as the bases were now loaded. With the winning run at the plate, Short buckled down to seal the game with a strikeout for his fourth save of the season and lowered his ERA to 1.38.

Tennessee is now 30-33 as they look to finish the first half at .500. Roberto Caro and Amaya were the leading hitters in the game collecting a pair of hits each with Amaya adding two RBI’s. Machin remained above .300 on the season with his hit as his average is .311 to lead the team.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 4 – Fayetteville Woodpeckers 8: After a wet and soggy weekend that saw the Pelicans receive three postponements, Myrtle Beach was eager to get back on the diamond in hopes of picking up a win. With Paul Richan on the hill, the Pelicans certainly liked their chances, but a lack of early offense added with a rough Luis Lugo showing out of the pen handed Richan his third loss (6-3) as the Pelicans fall 8-4.

You could tell early on the layoff was good for the offense as they were hot out of the gates. With one out in the inning, Carlos Sepulveda and Miguel Amaya recorded consecutive singles to put runners on the corners with a great scoring chance. Cam Balego capitalized on that chance with an RBI groundout as the Pelicans led 1-0, despite wanting more.

The long layoff proved to be a bad thing for Richan and the pitching staff as the Woodpeckers responded in the bottom of the first to grab the lead. It was Jake Adams delivering the go-ahead homer for his 10th of the season as Fayetteville was now in front 2-1. That was a lead the Woodpeckers refused to give up the rest of the game as a fifth-inning Colton Shaver homer chased Richan with the Woodpeckers now in front 4-1.

Fayetteville continued to build on their lead in the sixth as they greeted Lugo with some hard contact immediately. An Emmanuel Valdez double and Michael Papierski single brought home two more runs as the Woodpeckers now led 6-1 heading into the seventh.

In desperate need of some offense, the Pelicans were finally able to break through once again as they managed to make it a ball game. The inning got off to a great start with Jimmy Herron leading off with a walk before an Aramis Ademan single put two runners on with no outs. In danger of stranding both runners in scoring position, D.J. Wilson came through with a two-out double cutting the lead to 6-3 heading to the bottom half of the seventh.

The Woodpeckers were able to put the game away throughout the next two innings picking up RBI hits from Adams and Bryan De La Cruz to extend the lead to 8-3 with Myrtle Beach down to their final outs. Once again it was a great start to an inning as Grant Fennell led things off with a triple. Fennell would later come home on a wild pitch to make it 8-4, but the Pelicans couldn’t do much else falling to 20-41 on the season.

Amaya and Fennell led the offense in terms of hits as each of them picked up a pair in the loss. Wilson, Zach Davis, Sepulveda and Ademan picked up the teams remaining fourth hits as the Pelicans continue to search for wins.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 3 – Great Lakes Loons 8: After a promising series sweep over Bowling Green last weekend, the Cubs were taken to school by the Loons getting swept in the four-gamer following an 8-3 Monday loss. Looking for a bounce back outing was Peyton Remy, who simply didn’t have it in this one. Remy didn’t give his team much of a chance as he lasted just three innings allowing 4ER as the Cubs played catchup all night long.

The lone lead the Cubs managed to have in the series came in the first inning as the offense finally showed signs of life. With one out, Andy Weber gave South Bend a baserunner reaching base with a single. Weber advanced to second on a grounder and eventually to third on a wild pitch which proved to be beneficial as Jonathan Sierra made it a 1-0 game with a single. That lead was short lived as the offense went cold following a huge Great Lakes third inning.

This is undoubtedly an inning that Remy wants to forget as his command completely went away from him. Three batters into the frame, the Loons had the bases loaded as Remy walked the first three hitters. Things continued to unravel as Remy walked Dillon Paulson for his fourth straight walk bringing home a run to make it 1-1. Dan Robinson followed that up with the key hit of the inning as his single gave the Loons for good 3-1 before Remy uncorked a wild pitch later in the inning to make it 4-1.

The Loons lead continued to grow in the bottom of the fourth inning as the Jacob Amaya double pushed things out to 5-1. Down by four in the sixth, the Cubs offense did a great job battling back as they made this a game once again. It was a two-out rally that got the momentum going as Tyler Durna extended the inning with a single.

Sierra responded to that with his second RBI hit of the game with a double to make it a 5-2 game. Christopher Morel kept the line moving with a third straight hit to cut the deficit to 5-3 while Cole Roederer made it four straight hits with a single keeping two men on. Unfortunately for South Bend, that would be the last of the runs scored as they failed to deliver any more runs that frame.

The Loons officially delivered the knockout out blow in the bottom the sixth inning when a wild pitch and Miguel Vargas RBI double pushed the lead to 7-3. Great Lakes would add another run off the South Bend bullpen in the bottom of the seventh off the Leonel Valera single, as they completed the four-game sweep 8-3.

With the sweep, the Cubs are 33-29 and have a lot of work to do in the final handful of first-half games. Sierra was the spark on offense, collecting two hits to go with his two RBI’s. Weber, Durna, Morel, Roederer were among four of the six other players to collect a hit. Brennan Davis had the night off. Eugenio Palma was the lone reliever to toss scoreless work in this one, giving the Cubs one scoreless frame of relief.

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