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Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 17

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The first half ends for three teams and Ian Rice sends the Smokies out with a bang.

Ian Rice Pelicans
Ian Rice
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Happy Father’s Day!

We’ve got some ends to the first half of the season today.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs lost to the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners), 12-3.

Alec Mills put the I-Cubs in an early hole by giving up six runs on six hits over 2.2 innings. He walked three and struck out two.

Shortstop Mike Freeman was the second batter of the game and he gave the Cubs a short-lived 1-0 lead with his fifth home run of the season. Freeman was 1 for 5.

The other two Iowa runs came on Stephen Bruno’s first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Bruno was 1 for 3.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies stunned the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 6-5 on a walk-off three-run home run by Ian Rice.

Starter Matt Swarmer went four innings and surrendered two runs on five hits. Three of those five hits and both of the runs came in the first four batters he faced. Swarmer walked two and struck out four.

James Norwood pitched the top of the ninth and got the win. He walked a batter with two outs, but that was it. Norwood struck out one.

Rice’s home run came with two outs and a 2-2 count. It was his fourth home run of the season and his second walk-off home run in the past three games. Rice was 1 for 5.

Third baseman Jesse Hodges hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to tie the game at 2-2. It was his third home run of the season. Hodges went 1 for 4.

All of the Smokies runs came on home runs in the final three innings as DH Trent Giambrone hit a solo run in the bottom of the eighth. Giambrone has nine home runs this season. He was 2 for 4.

This was the final game of the first half of the Smokies season and the win meant that they finished the first half with a winning record of 36-34. That put them in fourth place (out of five) in the Southern League North Division, but it was also only 3.5 games behind first-half champion Jacksonville.

The Smokies were the only Cubs full-season minor league team to finish the first half above .500.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were stuck in the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers), 3-2.

Bryan Hudson started and took the loss after he gave up three runs on four hits over five innings. One of the three runs was unearned. Hudson walked three and struck out two. He also had three wild pitches.

Ryan Kellogg was strong over four innings of scoreless relief, giving up just one hit. Kellogg struck out four and did not walk anyone, although he did hit one batter.

Third baseman Yeiler Peguero was 3 for 3 with an RBI double. He also scored one run.

Myrtle Beach finished the first half at 34-36, tied for fourth (and last) place in the Carolina League Southern Division with Carolina. It was the first time since 2010 that the Pelicans finished the first half below .500 when they were a Braves affiliate. That’s four years as a Rangers and three as a Cubs affiliate finishing the first half above. .500.

Highlights:

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were broken by the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays), 8-4.

Brendan King’s second start of the season did not go as well as the first one did, when he was scoreless over 2.2 innings. Today, he got blasted for five runs on seven hits, including a two-run home run, over 2.1 innings. King struck out three and walked one.

Left fielder Roberto Caro hit a solo home run in the third inning, It was his first home run of the season. Caro went 1 for 3 with two walks.

Catcher Miguel Amaya was 2 for 3 with a walk. He scored once.

DH Michael Cruz was 2 for 4. He drove in one and scored one run.

South Bend finished the first half in fourth place (out of eight) at 34-35, 13 games behind first place Bowling Green.

Eugene Emeralds

The Eugene Emeralds lost for the first time this season, 6-4 to the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), 6-4.

Brailyn Marquez started and allowed just one run on three hits over 3.2 innings. Marquez struck out six and walked two.

Casey Ryan relieved Marquez and got the loss. He gave up three runs on five hits over 2.1 innings. He struck out two and walked no one.

Gustavo Polanco was 2 for 4 with a double and a triple. He scored once and had one RBI.

First baseman Cam Balego was 2 for 2 with a double and a walk. He scored once.