Although he didn’t pitch today, 2021 third-round pick, lefthander Drew Gray, was promoted to Myrtle Beach today. Gray’s professional career has been slowed by missing all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Everyone wins today, but there’s a bad ending in Tennessee to a doubleheader and the first half of a season.
Jared Young hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth as the Iowa Cubs made the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) blue, 7-5. It was the second-straight game that the I-Cubs won on a walk-off home run.
Iowa starter Nick Neidert really just made one mistake tonight, a solo home run in the fourth inning to top Cardinals prospect Masyn Winn. Neidert’s final line was one run on three hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Things looked bleak for the I-Cubs when Daniel Palencia got rocked for three runs on three hits over just a third of an inning. Palencia walked one and hit two batters as well. The one batter he retired was on a strikeout.
But Riley Martin came up big for Iowa. He entered the game with one out and the bases-loaded and got a strikeout and a 5-3 groundout to end the threat. Martin got the win when Iowa came back and struck for five runs in the bottom of the inning.
Trailing 5-2, third baseman Jake Slaughter hit a leadoff solo home run. It was Slaughter’s 13th home run this season. He went 2 for 4 this evening.
After a walk to shortstop Sergio Alcántara, DH Jake Windham got the I-Cubs to within a run with an RBI double. It was his second double on the night. Windham was 2 for 3 with a walk. He scored two runs.
Next, center fielder Darius Hill plated Windham to tie up the game 5-5. Hill was 1 for 5 and scored on the walkoff home run by Young.
Young’s home run was also his 13th on the season. He was 2 for 5.
Alcántara went 1 for 3 with the walk and a double. He scored twice.
Shortstop David Bote went 2 for 3 and was hit by a pitch.
Down three in the ninth? No problem. Jared Young hits our second walk-off home run in as many days to take the series against the Redbirds. pic.twitter.com/009l0Szny5— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) June 25, 2023
The Tennessee Smokies split a doubleheader with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Marlins), winning game one 6-4 and losing the second one 6-5. Unfortunately, the loss in game two eliminated the Smokies from the first-half division title.
DJ Herz started game one and couldn’t follow up on his previous strong starts. Herz allowed three runs on five hits over four innings. He walked three, hit one batter and struck out three.
The win went to Zac Leigh in relief of Herz. Leigh pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. He struck out two and walked no one.
Danis Correa gave up a run in the seventh, but managed to get the save anyway. He allowed one run on two hits over one inning. Correa struck out two and walked no one.
First baseman Haydn McGeary hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, his tenth on the season and seventh with the Smokies. McGeary was 2 for 3.
In the second inning, DH Nelson Maldonado cranked a solo home run, his sixth of the season. Maldonado was 1 for 3.
Next, left fielder Jordan Nwogu went back-to-back with Maldonado for his sixth home run of the year as well. Nwogu went 2 for 3.
Right fielder Owen Caissie had a two-run double in the fifth inning. Caissie was 2 for 3.
Nwogu goes back-to-back.
Caissie’s big double.
Owen Caissie crushes it down the line to score Andy Weber and Pete Crow-Armstrong! It's 6-3 Smokies in the bottom of the 5th. @owen_caissie @andyweber5 #BestYearEver #NextStartsHere pic.twitter.com/nQpmvxJFnM— Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball) June 24, 2023
Carlos Guzman started game two and allowed two runs on three hits over 2.1 innings. Guzman walked two and struck out two.
Scott Kobos came on to pitch the top of the seventh and got the loss. Kobos was knocked around for four runs, three earned, on one hit and three walks over just one-third of an inning. Kobos struck out one.
Caissie got things off right by hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning, his 13th of the year. Caissie was 2 for 4.
Shortstop Luis Vazquez hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning, his 11th of 2023. It gave the Smokies a short-lived 4-2 lead. Vazquez was 2 for 4.
Left fielder Cole Roederer was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI single.
Caissie’s home run.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs broke the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 4-1.
Connor Noland allowed a run on three first-inning singles, but then escaped further damage with an inning-ending double play and he went on to get the win. Noland allowed just one run on five hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked no one.
After Jarod Wright pitched two scoreless innings of relief, Joe Nahas pitched a scoreless ninth and got the save. Nahas did allow a hit and he issued a walk. He struck out one.
Shortstop Kevin Made hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. It was just his second home run of the year. Made also had an RBI double in the fourth inning. Made went 2 for 4.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans stopped the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (White Sox), 3-1.
Starter Jackson Ferris struggled in the second inning and didn’t finish it. His final line was one run on three hits over 1.2 innings. Ferris walked two and struck out one.
Luis Rujano was fantastic in relief of Ferris. Not only did he strand three baserunners in the second, he went on to pitch three more scoreless innings. Rujano allowed no hits and walked just one over 3.1 innings. Rujano struck out five.
Yovanny Cabrera threw the next three innings and got the win, allowing no runs on two hits. He neither struck out nor walked anyone.
Angel Gonzalez pitched the ninth and got the save. Gonzalez allowed a leadoff single, but then he struck out the next three batters.
Center fielder Rafael Morel had an RBI single in the fourth inning and a solo home run in the ninth. It was his fourth home run of the season. Morel went 2 for 3 with a walk.
Adrian Sampson allowed one run on one hit over two innings in a rehab appearance. Sampson struck out two and walked no one.
Christian More was 4 for 5 with a double and a triple.