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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 23

Four Pelicans pitchers no-hit the Fireflies. Iowa splits a twin bill Field Pelicans Field
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Tonight the last shall be first, because we’re starting with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Four Pelicans pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter and beat the Columbia Fireflies (Royals), 5-0. It was the Pelicans’ first no-hitter in the Cubs organization. The Pelicans last no-hitter was in 2012.

Starting pitcher DJ Herz pitched the first five innings and struck out seven batters. He did struggle a bit with control as he walked four. Herz got his first professional win.

Jeremiah Estrada relieved Herz and absolutely dominated. He struck out seven and walked just one over 2.2 innings.

Bailey Reid came in to finish the bottom of the eighth inning with a man on second and one out. He walked the first batter he faced, but then got a fly out to right field to end the inning.

Danis Correa came on to pitch the ninth inning. Things looked bad after he walked the first batter of the inning and hit the second one. But right fielder Jonathan Sierra caught a sinking liner for the first out and then Correa struck out the next two batters to complete the no-hitter.

Second baseman Fabian Pertuz gave the Pelicans two insurance runs with a two-run home run in the top of the ninth. It was Pertuz’s first home run this season. He was 2 for 4 with three RBI. He also stole a base.

Here’s the final pitch of the game and the celebration.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs split a doubleheader with the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), losing game one 12-4 and winning game two 8-5.

Matt Swarmer started game one and kind of had to take one for the rest of the staff. Swarmer pitched five innings and allowed nine runs, eight earned, on seven hits. Two of those hits were home runs. Swarmer struck out four and walked two.

Ryan Lawlor gave up three runs, two earned, in just one inning as he made his Triple-A debut.

Right fielder Trayce Thompson hit a monster two-run home run to center field in the bottom of the first inning. It was Thompson’s eighth home run in just 34 games with Iowa. He was 1 for 2 with two walks in game one.

Center fielder Michael Hermosillo went 2 for 3 and scored on Thompson’s home run.

Left fielder Ian Miller was 2 for 3 with a double.

Alfonso Rivas finally made his official Cubs debut in game one, only 17 months after the Cubs acquired him from Oakland in the Tony Kemp trade. Rivas played first base and went 0 for 3, but hit the ball hard at least once. He scored a run in game two as a pinch hitter.

Adrian Sampson started game two and got the win after allowing four runs on six hits over five innings. Sampson walked five and struck out three.

Jake Jewell pitched the top of the seventh inning and picked up the save. Jewell allowed no runs and no hits. He did walk one and struck out two.

First baseman Tyler Gushue hit an opposite-field solo home run in the bottom of the second inning to open the scoring. Gushue was 1 for 1 with two walks. Gushue now has four home runs this season.

Left fielder Nick Martini hit a three-run home run in the third inning, his third on the year. Martini went 2 for 3 and scored twice.

Here’s Thompson’s monster blast in game one.

And here’s Martini’s three-run shot in game two:

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies were shut out by the Mississippi Braves, 3-0.

Cam Sanders started and took the loss. Sanders allowed three runs on two hits over five innings. He battled control problems as he walked five and hit one batter while striking out five.

Cubs 2017 first-round draft pick Brendan Little made his 2021 debut tonight. He pitched one scoreless inning of relief. He allowed one hit. He neither walked nor struck anyone out.

Left fielder Darius Hill was 2 for 4.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were shut out by the Ft. Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 8-0.

South Bend starter Max Bain did not allow a hit himself over six innings. He struck out eight, walked three and hit one batter.

Hunter Bigge made his first appearance of the season when he relieved Bain to start the seventh inning. Bigge pitched two-thirds of an inning and was charged with three runs on one hit, one walk and one hit batter. He struck out two. Eduarniel Nunez relieved Bigge and not only allowed two runners inherited from BIgge to score, he let in five runs of his own without retiring a batter.

South Bend only had two singles in this game.