Connor Noland – Picture by Todd Johnson

OK. So, I was a little overwhelmed tonight with 4 games going at once. I forgot how chaotic it could be.

Debut of the Night and Pitcher of the Night

Originally, I wanted to watch Connor Noland of South Bend debut as a Cub and I was not disappointed. He went four innings and struck out 7. He threw just 56 pitches, 43 for strikes. He will not be in South Bend long with this curveball.

19-Year-Olds Hitting Dingers – I can handle this

Starting to Heat Up – The Hitter of the Day

It looks like Matt Mervis is putting 2 and 2 together lately. Tonight was a big night for the International League leader in RBI as he went 2-for-4 with his dinger.

Pictures of the Day by Dylan Heuer

This ties in with hitter of the day as the pics chronicle Mervis’ dinger.

Game Action and Scores

Iowa – The I-Cubs jumped out to a 9-0 lead and looked they would run away with the game. However, the Storm Chasers began to chipp away at the lead to make it 9-6 after 6. The bullpen then hunkered down as Cam Sanders and Nick Burdi put out the rally. Manny Rodriguez got the save with a clean ninth!

Tennessee – Both the Smokies and Biscuits each had six hits tonight. However, the Biscuits plated 5 guys and the Smokies 1. Porter Hodge had a rough Double-A debut. The highlights, though, came down to Chris Kachmar going 2.2 IP with 6 Ks in his first game since 2021. Baily Horn again showed he should be at Iowa in 1.1 scoreless with 3 Ks.

South Bend – Connor Noland’s debut was something to crow about but the Cubs offense scuffled to score runs despite Kevin Made’s 2-for-4 night. It wasn’t until the 8th that the Cubs got back in the game on a Yohendrick Pinango double to close it to 4-3. They scored two more in the bottom of the night to make it 5-5. Unfortunately, the 10th inning did not go according to plan as the Cubs lost their first game of the year 8-5.

While I did not get to see Sam Thoresen and Chase Watkins pitch in Davenport, they got in some work tonight. Thoresen was effectively wild in 2+ with 5 Ks and 2 unearned runs while Watkins

Myrtle Beach – One word sums up tonight for the Pelicans….Oof! It was a rough night for the young Birds as the pitching struggled throughout the game. Michael Arias, Angel Hernandez, and Nick Hull had rough outings. The highlight of the night was the fireworks display by Moises Ballesteros and Cristian Hernandez that you saw above. The lone pitching highlight was seeing Johzan Oquendo come in and dominate for 2 innings where he struck out four. He’s one of my faves. The final score of 13-5 is hard to see, but it’s not totally disappointing. It’s rough, but there is something to build on.

Tomorrow’s games should be extra exciting as 2022 first round pick Cade Horton will be making his Cubs debut in Lynchburg for Myrtle Beach. As well, Kohl Franklin will make his first 2023 start in South Bend.