Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: September 9

Very good news from the farm tonight as two teams are still fighting for a championship.

Tennessee Smokies

The Smokies blinded the Chattanooga Lookouts, 10-4. The Smokies now have a two games to none lead in the best-of-five series.

For the second straight game, the Smokies got behind early as starter Ryan Searle allowed four runs in the first two innings. He allowed six hits, which included two home runs. Searle walked one and struck out one in his two innings of work.

Oswaldo Martinez got the win with three shutout innings of relief of Searle. Martinez allowed only two hits, He struck out five and did not walk anyone.

Kevin Rhoderick, Daniel Berlind and Marcus Hatley pitched the final four innings without allowing a hit.

Rebel Ridling started the comeback with a solo home run to lead off a six-run second inning. Ridling was 1 for 3 with a walk.

Blake Lalli was 2 for 3 with a double and three RBI. Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha went 2 for 5 with a double. Ha scored twice.

Catcher Steve Clevenger was 2 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored. He left the game in the eighth inning with an apparent injury, but there was no word as to how serious it was.

The Smokies will try to win their third straight North Division title and a trip to the Southern League Championship Series tomorrow night in Chattanooga.

Daytona Cubs

The Daytona Cubs beat the raindrops and the St. Lucie Mets, 3-1. They now lead the best-of-five Florida State League Championship Series one game to none.

Daytona has gotten exceptional starting pitching throughout the playoffs, and that was true again tonight as Casey Harman pitched four innings and allowed only one run on three hits before the rains came. Harman struck out two and didn't walk anyone.

The game was held up by rain for two and a half hours after three and a half innings. When play resumed, Yoannis Negrin took the mound and he pitched four shutout innings. Negrin picked up the win as he allowed only one hit. He didn't allow any baserunners untll the eighth inning when he gave up a single and another runner reached on an error by shortstop Elliot Soto. Negrin struck out two.

Fireman Frank Batista got his second save in as many nights as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning. He gave up a hit and a walk to the first two batters he faced, but then retired the next three batters on a bunt pop up and two strikeouts.

Center fielder Matt Szczur hit a double off the top of the wall with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning and the score tied at 1-1. Then in the biggest play of the game, Elliot Soto hit a ground ball to first base and he beat the first baseman to the bag for an infield single. Szczur never stopped running from second base and scored the go-ahead run on the play. That's right: Szczur scored from second base on what should have been a groundout to first base. Soto then scored an insurance run when catcher Chad Noble doubled him home.

Szczur was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. Soto was 1 for 3 with a walk and two RBI. Noble was 1 for 4.

First baseman Justin Bour was 3 for 4. Right fielder Michael Burgess went 2 for 3 with a walk.

The Daytona Cubs will take on the Mets in game two of the FSL Championship tomorrow at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach.

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