Down on the Farm: Fly the L, Hatch roughed up, Hoerner impressive, and more


by - Staff Writer -
Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports

It was not a good night in the minors for the Cubs as all three teams in action lost. Not only did they lose, but they lost rather handily as both the pitching and hitting struggled to get things going from the first inning on.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 0 – Jackson Generals 9: It was a tough night for the Smokies as they were shutout by the Generals. After posting an ERA of 0.00 through two starts, Thomas Hatch was roughed up in this one not making it through the fifth inning. His line of 4 1/3 9 ER 8 H 3BB 5K was ugly, but the three home runs allowed was even more unpleasant as the Smokies were put in an early hole they couldn’t recover from.

On the positive side of things, the bullpen was solid allowing just five hits in 4 2/3 innings of work and most importantly zero runs. Ian Clarkin went 2 2/3 on his own as his ERA remains 0.00 for the season.

The first two innings are where Hatch had the most trouble putting his team in an 8-0 hole. Singles from Jamie Westbrook and Ramon Hernandez, mixed with a double play and a double off the bat of Daulton Varsho had the Generals in front 4-0 as they never looked back. A Pavin Smith three-run homer in the second followed by a solo shot from Westbrook pushed the lead to 8-0 as Hatch was searching for answers.

Varsho capped off the scoring for the evening with a solo shot in the fifth as Hatch watched his ERA climb to 5.65 and left his team trailing 9-0. Offensively, the Smokies did themselves no favors collecting just four hits in the contest. A Hatch double and Nico Hoerner triple accounted for the extra-base hits while Connor Myers and Jhonny Pereda added singles.

The best scoring chance for the Smokies came in the fourth when Hoerner led things off with a triple. Unfortunately, the Smokies were not able to cash in as the offense was lifeless most of the night. With the loss, Tennessee drops to 7-4.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2 – Frederick Keys 8: The rough season continued for the Pelicans as they dropped another lopsided decision 8-2. Ryan Kellogg got the ball in this one and was sharp early. However, a fourth-inning hiccup compiled with minimal offensive support did the Pelicans in.

The pitching from both sides set the tone in the early going as we had a scoreless game through three. It was in the fourth when the Keys took advantage to give themselves control of the game. With a pair of runners on base, Trevor Craport broke the scoreless tie with a single. An error by D.J. Wilson allowed Zach Jarrett and himself to move up putting a pair in scoring position.

Frederick made the Pelicans pay for that error as Jean Carillo doubled home both runners for the 3-0 lead. Ryan Ripken got in on the scoring barrage with a single of his own to push the lead to 4-0. In need of some quick offense, the Pelicans put their first two runners on base in the bottom of the fourth as Wilson worked a leadoff walk followed by a Jimmy Herron single. Two batters later it was Tyler Payne cashing in with a single to right to bring things to 4-1.

After the Keys pushed the lead to 5-1 in the top of the sixth after a wild pitch, the Pelicans began to chip away in the bottom half of that frame. A leadoff walk from Zach Davis proved to be beneficial as he stole second to put himself in scoring position. With two outs, it was Carlos Sepulveda coming through with a single cutting the deficit to 5-2.

That was as close as Myrtle Beach would get with Ripken delivering the knockout blow in the eighth with a three-run homer for the 8-2 Keys win.

The Pelicans continue to struggle fall dropping to 2-11 for the year. Five players tallied one hit for Myrtle Beach while they added five walks also.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 4 – Great Lakes Loons 9: Looking to find more consistency, the Cubs aimed for two straight against the Loons. Unfortunately, an early lead quickly evaporated with the Cubs falling 9-4.

Derek Casey took the ball and had an interesting line. With zero walks and four strikeouts through five innings, many would think he dominated this game. That was the case early as he kept the Loons scoreless through four, but a fifth-inning meltdown saw his line show six earned runs on nine hits before all said and done.

The Cubs were the ones to strike first as it took three innings to get things rolling. With the score tied 0-0, South Bend loaded the bases with one out as Rafael Narea singled and Levi Jordan and D.J. Artis earned walks. Looking to deliver a significant blow early, Cole Roederer drove in the games first run, however, it was a groundout preventing South Bend from a big inning.

South Bend added to their lead in the fourth as Jonathan Sierra led things off with a double before Tyler Durna doubled him home one batter later for the 2-0 lead. A Christopher Morel single put runners on the corners with nobody out, but the Loons were able to prevent further damage keeping things at 2-0.

That appeared to be the momentum swing in the game with Great Lakes coming to bat in the fifth. Already with a pair of runners on base, Hunter Feduccia tied things up 2-2 with an RBI triple before the Jacob Amaya double put the Loons in front for good. A Romer Cuadrado single and Drew Avens homer later and the Loons were comfortably in front 6-2.

Great Lakes added to their lead in the eighth as the command was an issue for Ryan Lawlor and Dalton Geekie. Already with the bases loaded, Lawlor walked in a run as Miguel Vargas showed patience at the plate. With Geekie now the new pitcher, he was able to induce a double play, but another run scored to make it an 8-2 ball game.

South Bend refused to go away quietly in the bottom of the eighth as Sierra cranked a homer over the right field fence to score Andy Weber cutting things to 8-4.

Feduccia and the Loons would get the last laugh as his homer capped off the scoring in the ninth for the 9-4 win.

With the loss, South Bend falls back to .500 at 6-6 which is where it seems they have been most of the year. Sierra and Christopher Morel each collected two hits with four others adding one. South Bend struck out just five times in the game but left 17 men on base in the loss.

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