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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: September 11

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Pelicans even their series. Ems are one win away from history.

Charcer Burks MB Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

There was some bad news and some good news for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans before today’s game. The bad news is that the injury suffered by Yasiel Balaguert in last night’s game one will keep him out for the rest of the series (and season, of course). The good news is that because South Bend’s season ended yesterday, the Cubs were able to promote Eloy Jimenez to take his place on the roster!

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans evened up the best-of-five Mills Cup Championship Series at a game each after the Lynchburg Hillcats (Indians) coughed up a furball, 8-3.

Pelicans starter Jeremy Null gave up a run in the first inning and a run in the fourth as the Birds fell behind 2-1. Null pitched four innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. He struck out three and did not walk anyone.

James Norwood relieved Null in the fifth inning and the Pelicans fell behind 3-1 when Norwood allowed a leadoff single, a one-out walk and a two-out RBI single. But Norwood got the win when the Pelicans struck for five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Norwood did strike out three.

Relievers Daniel Lewis, Tommy Thorpe and Ryan McNeil kept the Hillcats from scoring the rest of the way.

Left fielder Charcer Burks led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run, which cut the Hillcats lead to 3-2. Burks was 1 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored tonight.

Next up was center fielder Donnie Dewees who singled, and then scored the tying run when David Bote doubled him home. Dewees went 2 for 3 with a walk. Bote also had a two-run single in the eighth inning, giving him a line on the night of 2 for 4 with a walk and three RBI. He later scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning on a single by right fielder Jeffrey Baez. Baez went 2 for 4 and scored one run.

Catcher Erick Castillo was 2 for 4 with an RBI double in the fifth. He also scored in the eighth inning. Third baseman Jesse Hodges was 2 for 4 and scored once.

Jimenez was the DH and was 1 for 3 with 2 walks and an RBI ground out.

Tomorrow is a travel day as the series goes to Lynchburg to finish out the season, starting on Tuesday.

Eugene Emeralds

The Eugene Emeralds dried out the Everett AquaSox (Mariners), 3-1 to take a one game to none lead in the best-of-three series.

Dylan Cease started this game and did not allow a run over four innings. Cease allowed just two hits. He walked two and struck out six.

Michael Rucker got the win because Cease did not go five innings, but he pitched just as well. Rucker did not allow either a run or a hit over three innings. He did walk one and he struck out one.

Andin Diaz relieved Rucker in the eighth and this was the only moment where the game seemed in doubt. Diaz loaded the bases on a single, a double and a walk without recording an out before giving way to Dakota Mekkes. Mekkes got the first batter to strike out and then it looked like he got out of the inning with no damage on a 6-4-3 double play. But the home plate umpire overruled the first base umpire and called the batter safe at first, allowing the AquaSox to score their first run of the game. But then Mekkes got a fly to right to end the inning. Mekkes pitched the ninth and got the save, although he did allow a one-out single. The final line on Mekkes and this big save was two innings, allowing no runs (one inherited) on one hit. He struck out two.

All three Emeralds runs scored on solo home runs. Second baseman Yeiler Peguero gave the Ems an early lead with a homer as the second batter of the game. He was 1 for 3 with a walk on the game.

The other two home runs came in the top of the sixth, when D.J. Wilson lead off the inning with a home run and after Peguero struck out, Chris Pieters made it 3-0 with a home run of his own. Both Wilson and Pieters were 1 for 4.

The Ems head home to PK Park in Eugene for the final two games of the season. They need to win just one of them to claim their first outright Northwest League championship since 1975.