Cade Horton – Picture by Todd Johnson

Insert whatever sports analogy you want here, but the Tennessee Smokies’ magic number was two heading into the final night of the first half of the minor league season. The Smokies needed to win one of their two games today and for Chattanooga to lose. The other option for the Smokies to get in the playoffs was for them to win both their games if Chattanooga won. 

Walker Powell, took the mound for Tennessee and was staked to 1 to 0 lead after the first inning with a fly ball to the outfield by Luis Vazquez resulted in the throwing error plating Pete Crow-Armstrong. Pensacola came right back with two runs in the top of the second; they held that until the bottom of the inning when a Nelson Maldonado homer tied it up at two. And that’s where it stayed until the sixth inning. After a double and a walk, Tennessee switched from Powell to Luke Little, who allowed both inherited runners to score to make it 4-2 Pensacola.

The Smokies won plenty of comeback wins this year and I held out hope that they could get it done in the sixth or the seventh inning. In the seventh, Andy Weber lead off with a single and my hope was revived. However, a force out at second on a PCA grounder and a Luis Vazquez whiff tampered my hopes. It came down to Owen Caissie with two outs. A foul tip ended the rally. So, Tennessee was going to need some help to get in the postseason. Chattanooga’s game was supposed to start at 6, but their game had a delayed start due to weather in Biloxi. If canceled, it would come down to percentages and the rain.….More later.

As for the Other Games

Cade Horton started for South Bend. If you wanted strikeouts and lots of them, you got them from Horton. After two innings, he had 4 and a 1 run lead. Horton struggled the second time through the order for Horton did have the same result as the first as he gave up an unearned run to tie the game. 

Sweetest Swing of the Day

Man, Felix Stevens can swing a bat. I can safely say that I will be taking plenty of pictures of Felix Stevens.

After five innings, South Bend led 3-1 after the Stevens homer. heading into the fifth, Horton had thrown less than 60 pitches. As a result, Horton came out for the fifth and wound striking out 6 on the night. South Bend added two more in the eighth to make it 5-1. And that would be the final score.

Web Gem of the Day

This dude can play the field.

Team Moises Tweet of the Day

Two hits for the young catcher were his first at South Bend..

Dinger of the Day

For Marino Santy and Myrtle Beach, things did not start out well as a 2 run dong by Kannapolis. However, the Birds came back to take a 4-2 lead later on a Parker Chavers.

That lead held for a while until Kannapolis took a 4-4 lead after 5. And then the rains came.

An Iowa Singles Parade For Most of the Night

After falling behind 2-0 in the first, the Cubs used a series of singles to storm back to take a 4-2 in the bottom of the inning. A David Bote single plated Yonathan Perlaza to make it to 5-2 in the second and the Cubs took off. Perlaza added a two-run single to make it 7-2 and Riley Thompson was on cruise control through 4 innings and was pulled. Chase Strumpf later added a homer to make it 9-4 after 6.

The final would be 9-5 and Iowa is looking good at the halfway point.

As for Game 2 and the Smokies

Chattanooga got rained out and that sent everything into a series of questions about the playoffs. Tennessee’s second game was cancelled as well. Their game was rescheduled for Saturday while Chattanooga will make up their game tomorrow. We are sitting on pins and needles waiting to see how this shakes down.