Pitching was at the forefront as South Bend received a trio of excellent performances from Preston Morrison, Casey Bloomquist, and Kyle Twomey. Myrtle Beach got an outstanding day from Trevor Clifton and one just as good by Zach Hedges. Tyler Skulina and Brad Markey were at their finest for Tennessee, and Jake Buchanan dominated for Iowa.
All that plus a couple of big offensive outbursts are inside today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (34-22)
In a good, old-fashioned pitcher’s duel on Friday, South Bend came out on the short end of a 2-1 loss to Western Michigan. Preston Morrison was charged with only an unearned run as he had four strikeouts in six innings. Kyler Miller allowed an earned run in two innings, and Greyfer Eregua tossed a perfect inning.
With first place on the line, South Bend took game one of a Saturday doubleheader with Western Michigan 10-3. The S-Cubs brought out the big bats as Ian Rice (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) slugged a first inning two-run homer with Donnie Dewees (3-for-4 with a triple and three RBI) on base. Matt Rose (1-for-3 with a home run) blasted a solo home run in the second inning. And Dewees had an RBI triple in the fifth inning. Four singles by Jesse Hodges (2-for-3), Carlos Sepulveda (3-for-3 with an RBI), P.J. Higgins (2-for-4 with an RBI), and Dewees along with a walk to Bryant Flete (1-for-2) led to three more runs in the sixth inning.
Carson Sands struggled with his location as he had 75 pitches in only three innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out three batters. Pedro Araujo shut down the Whitecaps, tossing three scoreless innings. James Norwood was firing smoke as he got the final three outs.
South Bend got all the runs they needed in the first inning, as pitching dominated a 2-1 doubleheader sweep of Western Michigan. Making his first start of the season, Casey Bloomquist had the Whitecaps pounding the ball into the ground as he allowed an earned run in five innings. Craig Brooks picked up his third save with two strikeouts in two innings. Ian Rice (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) was the hero again, as his two-run home run with Andrew Ely (0-for-3) on in the first inning accounted for the scoring.
On Sunday, South Bend ended the weekend in first place by one game with a 2-1 victory over Western Michigan. Kyle Twomey was effective as he limited the Whitecaps to an earned run in five innings. Greyfer Eregua had two strikeouts in two innings, while John Williamson pitched 0.2 innings. With a strikeout in the final 1.1 innings, Scott Effross collected his first save.
The S-Cubs manufactured two runs as P.J. Higgins (1-for-4 with a double) doubled, advanced on an error, and scored on a sacrifice fly in the first inning. The same situation occurred in the second, this time Jesse Hodges (1-for-3 with a double) doubled, went to third on a balk, and scored on a ground out.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (30-26)
Both teams brought their hitting shoes on Friday as they combined for 30 hits with Myrtle Beach losing 11-10 to Salem. Jonathan Martinez was roughed up for seven earned runs in 4.2 innings. Daury Torrez did not fare much better, as he gave up four earned runs in two innings. Jordan Minch finished the game out with 1.1 scoreless innings.
Several of the Pelicans had big nights, as Jason Vosler (3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI) led the way with the first RBI of the game. Gioskar Amaya (3-for-5 with a double, a triple and three RBI) had a two-run triple in that first inning as he also broke out big. Gleyber Torres (3-for-4 with three doubles and an RBI) also contributed an RBI double in the second inning.
It was never in doubt on Saturday, as Myrtle Beach opened a series against Potomac with a 6-2 win. Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI) got the Birds on the board in the second inning with a solo home run. A sacrifice fly brought in Charcer Burks (2-for-4 with two doubles) in the third and a home run from Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) plated two, with Rashad Crawford (3-for-4 with a double and an RBI) on. A single by Crawford brought in Burks in the sixth, and singles from Ian Happ (0-for-1 with an RBI) and Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4 with an RBI) scored a run in the seventh.
Zach Hedges scattered 10 hits in 6.2 innings, as he allowed two earned runs and struck out two batters. Tommy Thorpe tossed 0.2 innings, and James Farris collected his eighth save with two strikeouts in 1.2 perfect innings.
Domination was the key word on Sunday as Myrtle Beach was hitting on all cylinders in a 15-0 romp over Potomac. Fresh off of being named the organization’s Pitcher of the Month, Trevor Clifton showed exactly why as he allowed only four hits and struck out six in six innings. A couple of troubled pitchers were able to throw with ease as Daniel Lewis went two innings and Dillon Maples tossed an inning.
With 15 runs, it would take a separate article to summarize the scoring. The highlights include a double steal by Gleyber Torres (1-for-2 with two stolen bases) and Ian Happ (2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and a stolen base) in the first inning, as well as a triple by Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4 with a triple) in the second inning. Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI) had a two-run home also in the second, with Gioskar Amaya (2-for-5 with a home run) going back-to-back. Happ also launched a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (25-31)
Pitching took center stage on Friday as Tennessee lost 2-1 to Jackson. Tyler Skulina had one of his better efforts as he struck out three and allowed two earned runs in four innings. Starling Peralta did some heavy lifting as he pitched three scoreless innings. David Garner struck out the side in the eighth, and Corey Black tossed the ninth.
The only run for the Smokies came in the fourth inning after Jacob Hannemann (1-for-4 with a double) doubled and scored on a ground out.
It was another great pitching effort on Saturday, as this time Tennessee came out on top of Jackson 2-1. Brad Markey continued his success, as he allowed an earned run in six innings. Josh Conway and Jose Rosario each tossed a scoreless inning, while Corey Black struck out two in the ninth for his seventh save. The Smokies obtained the lead in dramatic fashion when Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) tattooed a two-run homer with Victor Caratini (2-for-3) on in the seventh inning.
Moving on to Mississippi, Tennessee was able to survive a bullpen day as their offense provided in an 11-6 win. A six-run sixth inning was the highlight as Jeimer Candelario popped a solo home run. After loading the bases, a single by Carlos Penalver, Stephen Bruno being hit by a pitch, a base hit from Jacob Hannemann and a ground out scored five more runs. Hannemann also had a two-run homer in the fifth inning, and Mark Zagunis an RBI triple in the eighth.
Stephen Perakslis struggled again, allowing five runs (three earned) in only four innings. Juan Paniagua, Miguel Mejia, and David Garner ate up the middle innings by holding the Braves scoreless. David Berg gave up an earned run as he pitched the ninth.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (27-26)
It took a while for the bats to get going on Friday, but Iowa eventually prevailed over Oklahoma City 7-5 for their seventh straight win. The I-Cubs scored the first runs of the game in the sixth inning after Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) thumped a three-run home run with Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-3) and Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) on base. A double by Juan Perez (1-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a stolen base) in the eighth inning brought in Matt Murton (1-for-1) and Contreras, and Perez later scored on a wild pitch. Iowa added insurance in the ninth as Alcantara doubled in Kawasaki.
Lefty Rob Zastryzny was at his serviceable best as he allowed three earned runs and struck out five in 5.1 innings. Giovanni Soto gave up an earned run in 0.2 innings. Dallas Beeler surrendered an earned run in two innings. Jean Machi picked up his first save with a scoreless ninth.
Pitching dominated on Saturday as Iowa throttled Memphis 4-0. After getting battered a few times, Jake Buchanan has put together two good starts as he scattered four hits and struck out seven in seven innings. Carl Edwards Jr. had a strikeout as he pitched an inning, while Spencer Patton struck out the side in the ninth.
A single by John Andreoli (1-for-4 with an RBI) plated Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-4 with two stolen bases) in the second inning, and a double from Willson Contreras (1-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base) scored Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with four stolen bases) in the third inning. After a double steal in the fifth inning, Matt Murton (1-for-4 with two RBI) delivered an RBI base hit to drive in Alcantara and Contreras.
Iowa spotted Memphis a run on Sunday and then blew them away, winning 6-1. The I-Cubs doubled up the Redbirds in the fourth inning when a home run by David Freitas (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) scored Juan Perez (2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI). Matt Murton (2-for-3 with as home run and two RBI) added a solo shot in the fifth inning. A bases-loaded single by Murton in the seventh brought in pinch-hitter David Bote, with another base hit by Perez plating Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-4 with a stolen base) and Murton.
Alex Sanabia had his best game since signing, striking out four and allowing an earned run in five innings. Brandon Gomes and Armando Rivero each tossed a scoreless inning and Carl Edwards Jr. chipped in 0.2 innings. Felix Pena had two strikeouts in the final 1.1 innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs sent RHP Dallas Beeler to the Iowa Cubs for a rehab assignment; assigned LHP Justin Steele to the Eugene Emeralds from the South Bend Cubs.
The South Bend Cubs activated LHP John Williamson from the 7-day disabled list.
- Trevor Clifton Photo – Larry Kave, Myrtle Beach Pelicans