Owen Caissie – Picture by Todd Johnson

I am pretty thankful that I got to see Episode 4 of Obi Wan after my walk tonight. When it was over, I checked the scores and only two games were being played. Myrtle Beach and Iowa were rained out while Tennessee and South Bend were playing. Unfortunately, for South Bend, the night did not go very well except for a few things – PCA’s ninth HR of the year and first at Four Winds Field and Owen Caissie snapped his 0-for-June slump (0-15) with 3 hits. Sadly, the Cubs and Manny Espinoza fell behind Cedar Rapids 6-0 after two innings and the Kernels just kept coming, eventually winning 12-5.

As for the Smokies, like many other nights this year, they fell behind early and began coming back because they can score runs in bunches, this time against Biloxi. Chase Strumpf had himself a night with a HR, a single, and a double. Heading into the night, he was hitting .333 in June with an OPS of 1.389 on the month. However, Strumpf’s efforts were not enough as the Smokies lost in the bottom of the ninth on a walk off sac fly and a score of 4-3.

Let’s get to the awards!

Starter of the Day

We will do something different today as Kevin Valdez of the DSL Red team gets the nod. He went three innings, gave up a run and struck out five in his pro debut. Valdez is a late bloomer who signed as an IFA last November. At 6-foot-4 and 185 lbs., the 20-year-old lefty should be an interesting following down in the Dominican.

Reliever of the Day

Bailey Reid of South Bend had one of his bests outings in a while throwing 2 innings while not allowing a hit or a run. Along the way, the Westmont product struck out 2.

Hitter of the Day

Let’s go with Owen Caissie whose 3-for-4 night was capped with a HR and he scored two runs in a losing cause. Glad he busted out of his slump.