The games got started early today as Myrtle Beach began at 4 central with the Smokies starting their doubleheader at 4:30. As well, Iowa was on Marquee so they were an hour early for them. As for South Bend, it was their turn for a rainout.
In terms of offense, the first two games had little to none. Myrtle Beach managed five hits and just 2 runs in their 3-2 loss to the Wood Ducks. Tennessee gave up 10 unanswered runs before they finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. The Smokies only scraped out 5 hits in the opener as they lost 12-2. The highlight for Tennessee was a solo shot by Jordan Nwogu.
They were on the Marquee Sports Network tonight with Alex Cohen and Ted Lilly on the call. I enjoyed that duo quite a bit. Jake Slaughter put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the second with a solo shot.
Starting Pitching of the Day
Michael Rucker, who was sent down from Chicago, made his first start since 2019 and threw 3 scoreless innings. He gave up 1 hit, 0 runs, and struck out 2 and he did not hit anyone as he tossed 34 pitches, 21 for strikes.
Jared Young increased the I-Cubs lead to three with a 2 run double in the third. In the fourth, Stephen Gonsalves made his 2023 Iowa debut after playing at every affiliate except Tennessee. He gave up a run in the fourth and then fell apart in the fifth. Luke Little came in and made his debut. He struck out Parker Meadows for the first out and then the walks came and next thing you know it was 4-3 Toledo.
In the bottom of the fifth, Matt Mervis singled then Edwin RIos put the Cubs back in front 5-4 with a 2 run-shot. In the sixth, Luke Little gave up a leadoff single. He was replaced by the newest Cub, Josh Roberson. First pitch resulted in a 2 run homer. 3 batters later, Parker Meadows hit a 2 run jack to make it 8-5. PJ Higgins hit a 2 run homer to make it 8-7. It was one of those tennis games again. In the top of the seventh, Toledo popped off another four runs to make it 12-7. And it kept going from there as Toledo doubled them up and they kept going 1to win 19-8.
3 Hit Club
Only 1 member at Iowa, PJ Higgins. He went 3-for-5 with a HR and 2 RBI.
As for the Nightcap…
Tennessee started Samuel Reyes. Yeah, there are some rotation issues going on in Tennessee especially since Espinoza only lasted 1 inning in the opener. In the nightcap, Chattanooga got on the board first, but Tennessee responded in the bottom of the inning. The Smokies loaded the bases with no outs and Bradlee Beesley scored on a ground out double-play. Beesley got things going again in the second with a 2-run triple to make it 3-1 and he came in to score on a Levi Jordan single to make it 4-1. A Cole Roederer sac fly made it 5-1.
Samuel Reyes wound up going 3 innings and allowed that 1 run. He also struck out 5. Zac Leigh came on in to pick the slack in the fourth and gave up a run.
Dinger of the Day
In the bottom of the inning, Haydn McGeary brought in 2 with a 2 run-bomb. One word describes his shot to left….TURNT.
The Smokies would go on to win 7-4.
I will be back in the morning with a look at how the draft picks did this week and some happenings over at MLB Pipeline.