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Iowa Cubs Wrap: March 31

The Iowa Cubs start their season with a win.

Christopher Morel, Iowa Cubs
Christopher Morel celebrates an Opening Night win.
Dylan Heuer

Welcome back to the Minor League Wrap, although tonight is just the “Iowa Cubs Wrap” because the other three affiliates don’t start their season until Thursday (Tennessee and Myrtle Beach) or Friday (South Bend).

This was a great win for Iowa, but it was by far the second-best win for Iowa this evening. That’s why this is running so late.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs sunk the Columbus Clippers (Guardians), 11-6.

The Clippers broke out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Adrian Sampson gave up a solo home run to Bo Naylor. (The wind was howling out tonight, but that blast would have gone out pretty much any day.) But Iowa scored one run in the bottom of the first, three in the second, two in the third and five in fourth. They stopped scoring after that, but that was all they would need.

Sampson pitched 4+ innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits. He walked four and struck out two.

Ryan Borucki got the win in relief of Sampson. He stranded a leadoff double inherited from Sampson and then gave up an unearned run in the sixth inning. His final line was 1.2 innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit. Borucki walked two and struck out two.

Anthony Kay pitched 1.1 scoreless innings of relief. Vinny Nittoli pitched a scoreless eighth and Rowan Wick pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.

Iowa tied up the game in the bottom of the first inning when first baseman Matt Mervis doubled home right fielder Christopher Morel, who had tripled.

In the fourth inning, second baseman David Bote hit a two-run home run and Mervis went back-to-back with him.

Mervis finished the game 2 for 2 with a double, two walks and he was hit by a pitch. He had two RBI and he scored twice.

Bote was 1 for 5.

Morel was 2 for 4 with the triple and a walk. He scored two runs and had two RBI.

Third baseman Jake Slaughter hit a pair of doubles in his Triple-A debut. Slaughter was 2 for 5 with three RBI and one run scored.

DH Mike Tauchman was 3 for 5. He had one RBI and one run scored.

Center fielder Nelson Velázquez was 2 for 5 with a double and two runs scored.

Here are Bote and Mervis’s back-to-back blasts.

Here’s a double by Slaughter.