Brandon Birdsell = Picture by Todd Johnson
Here in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, the smokey haze from wild fires has settled across the land. I was surprised that South Bend and Beloit got a game in as the visibility was about 3/4 a mile. Before the game, there was no BP, no infield practice, nor outfield shagging as is the norm after a long weekend. Instead, it was just baseball at 6:35.
Iowa Begins the Day with a Friendly Win
Nelson Velazquez had not played in a game for 10 days after being on the taxi squad for a bit. He showed no rust today going 2-for-4 with 3 RBI including a two-run jack in the first. The I-Cubs broke open a 2-2 game in the beginning in the sixth by plating 7 runs in the next three innings. Jake Slaughter hit his 14th homer of the year to tie for the system lead. The I-Cubs cruised to a 9-2 win.
Caleb Killian pitched well going five and allowing two runs on a couple of bloopers. He whiffed four on the day. Ryan Jensen and Daniel Palencia did well throwing the last 3 innings without allowing a run.
Starting Pitcher of the Night
Grant Kipp was outstanding going 6 scoreless innings. He allowed 1 walk, and whiffed 7 RiverDogs on the night.
However, the RiverDogs and Pelicans went through 9 innings without a run.
Then in extras, both squads scored five runs over the next three innings before the Pelicans won it in the 13th, 6-5, on a wild pitch. Juan Mora and Pedro Ramirez both had 2 RBI on the night.
Extra Smoke and Extra Innings in Beloit
Brandon Birdsell pitched really well for South Bend today. He flashed his mid 90s fastball and a slider that was unhittable. He went 5 strong with 1 unearned run and 5 Ks on the night. Unfortunately, the Cubs offense sputtered to produce one run until extra innings. They took a 4-2 lead in the 14th on a Kevin Alcantara bomb and were one out away from a win. Unfortunately, Beloit scored three in the bottom of the 14th to win 5-4.
Pictures of the Day
Hitter of the Day
Haydn McGeary cranked his 8th HR at Tennessee and drive in 5 tonight as he went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .311.
As for the Rest of Smokies,,,
The Smokies raced out to a 6-3 lead only to blow that lead, come back and tie it with four runs in the ninth at 10, and then they lost it in the bottom of the ninth, 11-10. Surprisingly, only 1 Smokie had multiple hits today and that was McGeary. However, Owen Caissie did drive in three with a double in the ninth and PCA scored three times on the day,
Richard Gallardo made his 2023 debut at Double-A. It was rough as he uncharacteristically walked 5 in 4.2 frames. There was not much to write home about the pitching.
Tomorrow will see a full slate of games from the Dominican up to Iowa.
I will be back in Beloit tomorrow, should the smokey haze hold off.