A fourth affiliate joined the postseason party as Myrtle Beach rode the bat of David Bote for a chance to defend their Carolina League title.
Eugene experienced a modest losing streak while Dylan Cease was lighting it up. Eloy Jimenez and Matt Rose were equally as hot in South Bend. And in Tennessee, veterans Lane Adams, Kelly Dugan, and David Freitas were providing the offensive punch.
With highlights from the Rookie League and the Dominican Republic, the Down on the Farm Report looks to go deep in the postseason.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (46-19)
The offense for Eugene had a rare off night on Tuesday as the Emeralds lost 3-1 to Everett. The Ems managed only four hits as Jose Paniagua (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-4) for their only score in the second inning.
Dylan Cease lit up the stadium radar gun, regularly hitting 100 mph as he struck out seven and allowed an earned run in four innings. Duncan Robinson was no slouch either, fanning four and giving up an earned run three innings. Jed Carter was charged with an unearned run as he pitched an inning, and Wyatt Short tossed a scoreless ninth.
On Wednesday, the Emeralds’ offense could only muster one hit as Eugene lost to Everett 1-0. Manuel Rondon labored through 3.2 innings, allowing an earned run and striking out three batters. M.T. Minacci pitched 2.1 innings, while Alex Santana lasted only 0.1 innings. Dakota Mekkes had a strikeout in 1.2 innings, and Mark Malave tossed an inning. Trent Giambrone (1-for-3) had Eugene’s only hit.
The Eugene Emeralds were idle on Thursday.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (79-50)
South Bend almost gave another one away on Wednesday, blowing a 9-2 lead only to plate two in the 10th and beat West Michigan 11-10. The middle of the lineup came up big as Eloy Jimenez was 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI while Matt Rose went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Carlos Sepulveda (3-for-5 with a double and an RBI) and Roberto Caro (3-for-4) set the table and P.J. Higgins (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) drove in two runs. Alberto Mineo (0-for-4 with an RBI), Eddy Julio Martinez (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI), and Adonis Paula (0-for-5 with an RBI) each brought in a run.
Adbert Alzolay was rocked for five earned runs in five innings, and Greyfer Eregua gave up three runs (one earned) in two innings. Dillon Maples committed an error that led to an unearned run in two innings, while Jared Cheek surrendered an earned run in the 10th.
On Thursday, West Michigan was just one better than South bend, as they lost 2-1. Justin Steele struggled with his command but still only allowed two earned runs while striking out two in six innings. Tanner Griggs struck out three in three scoreless innings. The only run for the Cubs came in the sixth inning after Vimael Machin (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Matt Rose (1-for-4).
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (74-55)
With a loss by Winston-Salem and a 2-1 victory over Carolina in 10 innings, Myrtle Beach secured a playoff berth for the second consecutive season. Preston Morrison had another fine start as he had five strikeouts and allowed an earned in five innings. Erick Leal returned from the disabled list and struck out four in 2.1 innings. Tommy Nance had two strikeouts as he pitched an inning, and Daniel Lewis tossed 1.2 scoreless innings for the win.
In the fourth inning, David Bote (2-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Charcer Burks (0-for-3) for the first run of the game. Bote led off the 10th with a base hit and came around on a double from Andrew Ely (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) for the go-ahead run.
It was a series sweep for the Pelicans on Thursday as Myrtle Beach defeated Carolina 8-4. The Birds scored three runs twice, in the third and fifth innings as David Bote led the way by going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI. Bryant Flete was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Donnie Dewees went 1-for-3 with a double, three RBI and two stolen bases. Charcer Burks (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) also drove in a run.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (54-75)
Tennessee gave first place Jackson another battle on Wednesday, winning a see-saw 6-5 game. It all started in the third inning when Lane Adams (2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) blasted a three-run homer, driving in Daniel Lockhart (2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base) and Chesny Young (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI). A single by Lockhart brought in Ben Carhart (1-for-3 with a double) in the seventh and a base hit by Kelly Dugan (1-for-4 with an RBI) scored Adams in the eighth inning. A sacrifice fly in the ninth drove in Carhart with the eventual game-winner.
Michael Wagner remained steady as he struck out four and allowed three runs (two earned) in 6.1 innings. R.J. Alvarez was ineffective in relief as he gave up two earned runs in 1.1 innings. James Farris retired all four batters he faced in 1.1 scoreless innings to get the victory.
The Smokies were once again a poor guest of Jackson on Thursday as Tennessee beat the Generals 5-4 in 10 innings. Ben Carhart (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) slammed a solo home run in the second inning. Kelly Dugan (2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI) doubled in Victor Caratini (1-for-2) and David Freitas (2-for-4) scored on a ground out in the third. In the fourth inning, a single by Lane Adams (2-for-5 with an RBI) brought in Trey Martin (1-for-3). It was the veterans again in the 10th, as Dugan doubled in Freitas with what would be the winning run.
Brad Markey had some trouble as he allowed four runs (three earned) in six innings. Stephen Perakslis stemmed the tide from the pen, striking out four in three scoreless innings. David Berg was a high wire act, retiring the first two batters in the 10th and allowing the potential tying and winning runs to reach scoring position before getting the final out.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (60-72)
The Iowa Cubs were idle on Wednesday.
The I-Cubs did not seem ready for Omaha on Thursday as they lost 8-1. Drew Rucinski was typically ineffective. Rucinski allowed four earned runs and struck out three in seven innings. Corey Black was nicked with two unearned runs in 1.1 innings, and Joe Thatcher was also charged with two unearned runs in 0.2 innings. Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Chris Coghlan (1-for-3) in the fourth inning for Iowa’s only run.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (26-26)
On Tuesday night, the AZL Cubs waited until the final two innings before kicking things into gear as they defeated the AZL Giants 5-3. It only took five hits as Gustavo Polanco and Rafael Mejia were each 1-for-3 with an RBI. Eugenio Palma pitched five innings of relief, allowing an earned run and striking out three batters.
The A-Cubs were not able to cross home on Wednesday night as they lost 4-0 to the AZL Angels. Luis Ayala was almost the entire offense as he went 4-for-5 with a double. Starter Pablo Ochoa allowed an earned run and struck out three in four innings.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-1 Cubs (29-40)
D-1 made the most out of their six hits as they defeated Yankees-1 2-1 in eight innings on Wednesday. Erick Gonzalez was 1-for-3 with an RBI, driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh. Andres Bonalde struck out three and scattered six hits in six innings.
The D-1 game on Thursday was postponed due to rain.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-2 Cubs (37-31)
The D-2 game on Wednesday was suspended and postponed on Thursday due to rain.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs sent OF Chris Coghlan to the Iowa Cubs on a rehab assignment.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans placed RHP Craig Brooks on the 7-day disabled list; activated RHP Erick Leal and RHP Ryan McNeil from the 7-day disabled list. The South Bend Cubs placed LHP Carson Sands on the temporarily inactive list; activated RHP Tanner Griggs from the 7-day disabled list.