Today was the last day of the minor league season for the Smokies, SB Cubs and Pelicans. The Minor League Wrap will continue over the next two weeks, although it will be called the Iowa Cubs Wrap as only Iowa still has games to play. Major League Baseball decided to add an extra ten games to the Triple-A season and the I-Cubs season will end on the same day as the Chicago Cubs season. (My guess is that they wanted someplace for injured major leaguers to rehab over the final two weeks.)
However, the I-Cubs will not take the field until Wednesday, so there will be no Minor League Wrap on Monday or Tuesday. They will start a five-game series in St. Paul starting on Wednesday and finish the year with a five-game series in Des Moines against Omaha.
The Iowa Cubs were blown away by the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 10-3.
Iowa went with a bullpen game today and Dakota Mekkes got his first career start. He allowed a solo home run to the first batter he faced in the bottom of the first, but he retired the next six batters he faced in order. Mekkes allowed one run on one hit over two innings. He struck out two.
The loss went to Erich Uelmen, who gave up four runs in the third inning, although three of them were unearned after three errors in the inning by left fielder Brennen Davis, third baseman Levi Jordan and Uelmen himself on a bad pickoff throw. Uelmen’s final line was four runs, one earned, on three hits over two-thirds of an inning. He walked one and did not strike anyone out.
The only I-Cubs pitcher out of six who did not allow a run was Brendon Little, who threw the final 1.2 innings and struck out three. He walked one and gave up one hit.
Shortstop Tyler Ladendorf hit a two-run home run in the second inning, his seventh on the season. Ladendorf was 2 for 4.
Brennen Davis extended his hit streak to six games in Triple-A by going 1 for 4. He scored on a wild pitch.
The Tennessee Smokies were shut out by the Biloxi Shuckers (Brewers), 5-0.
Joe Nahas started and got the loss after giving up four runs on six hits over four innings. Nahas walked three and struck out three.
Shortstop Luis Vazquez went 3 for 4.
The Smokies finished the season with a record of 46-63 and in fourth and last place in the North Division of Double-A South. They did finish with a better record than the Shuckers in their league.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs put the cuffs on the Quad Cities River Bandits (Royals), 5-4 in ten innings.
Jordan Wicks started the final game of the year for South Bend and allowed one run on three hits over three innings. Wicks walked two and struck out two.
Bailey Reid was called upon in the bottom of the ninth to get the save, but he allowed a run after giving up an infield single to Rubendy Jaquez, who promptly stole second and third base and scored on a sacrifice fly. Reid then got the win when South Bend scored twice in the top of the tenth. Reid did not walk or strike anyone out.
Dalton Stambaugh got the save. He allowed the automatic runner on second to score, but no one else. Stambaugh’s final line was one unearned run on one hit over one inning. He walked one and struck out one.
Catcher Jake Washer hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, his second on the season. Washer was 1 for 4 and scored a second time after being the automatic runner in the tenth inning.
Left fielder Yohendrick Pinango tied the game up with a solo home run in the sixth inning. It was Pinango’s sixth home run this season and second with South Bend. Pinango had to leave this game in the bottom of the sixth with an injury after he dove for a ball in left field. Since it’s the last game of the season, he’s not likely to miss any games.
Pinango went 2 for 3.
South Bend loaded the bases in the tenth with nobody out after Edmond Americaan walked and Liam Spence reached on an error. Back-to-back sacrifice flies by Yonathan Perlaza and Alexander Canario provided the winning margin in the contest.
Third baseman Jake Slaughter went 2 for 4.
South Bend finished the season 52-67, which puts them in fifth place (out of six) in the High-A Central West Division.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were stung by the Augusta GreenJackets (Braves), 2-1.
Porter Hodge started and took the hard-luck loss. Hodge gave up two runs on just two hits over four innings. Hodge struck out six, walked two and hit one batter.
Catcher Casey Opitz walked with the bases loaded in the eighth inning for the Pelicans’ only run of the game. Opitz was 0 for 2 with two walks.
Third baseman Josue Huma was 2 for 3 with a walk.
The loss kept the Pelicans from finishing the season with a .500 record. As it is, the finished at 59-61, which put them in a (distant) second place in the Low-A East South Division. They were 23 games behind Charleston, who had the second-best record in all of the minors at 82-38. The Pelicans were 11-19 against Charleston.