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April 19 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs vs. Louisville Bats

April 19, 2024 - International League (IL)
Iowa Cubs News Release


Friday, April 19 - 4:28 PM CT - Principal Park - Des Moines, IA

Game One: RHP Julio Teheran (0-0, -.--) vs. LHP Tyler Gilbert (0-1, 12.15)

Game Two: RHP Sam McWilliams (0-1, 9.22) vs. RHP Carson Spiers (0-0, 4.73)

TODAY'S GAMES: The Iowa Cubs host the Louisville Bats for a doubleheader today at Principal Park. Iowa will send right-hander Julio Teheran to the mound in Game 1 and Sam McWilliams will make the start in Game 2. Left-hander Tyler Gilbert is slated to start Game 1 for Louisville with Carson Spiers scheduled for Game 2.

CAISSIE AT THE BAT: The I-Cub offense received a big boost from one the top prospects in the organization, Owen Caissie. Hitting out of the cleanup spot, the No. 3 prospect for Chicago and the No. 44 prospect in all of Major League Baseball according to led Iowa to its 4-3 victory over Louisville on Wednesday, going 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI at the plate. It may have taken 16 games, but Caissie was finally able to hit his first home run at the Triple-A level yesterday. His long ball was a solo shot that came in the fifth inning off Sam Moll, who is on Major League Rehab for the Reds, and gave Iowa the lead. Caissie has shown off his power capabilities in the past as he went deep 22 times a season ago while playing for Double-A Tennessee. Caissie's 22 homers during the 2023 season were the most hit on the Tennessee Smokies and tied for the fourth most in the Southern League. So far during the 2024 season, the Burlington, Canada native has been a top producer for Iowa hitting .273/.412/.455 with five doubles, a triple, a home run, and nine RBI. The 21-year-old also made quite the first impression at the Triple-A level recording back-to-back three- hit performances against Omaha to open the season in his first career games for Iowa.

SEEING DOUBLE: In Wednesday's victory over the Louisville Bats, the I-Cubs had a penchant for hitting doubles as they totaled four in the contest. All four of the two-baggers hit by Iowa came from the top half of its order with Patrick Wisdom, Pete Crow-Armstrong, David Peralta and Matt Mervis each recording a double. The four doubles hit in yesterday's contest upped Iowa's total to 33 this season, which ranked tied for sixth in the International League. The most doubles hit by Iowa in a game this season was six on April 3 versus Toledo. Individually, Mervis leads the I-Cubs with six doubles on the year, which is tied for third in the International League. Doubles were also a common theme for the Iowa Cubs during the 2023 season as they totaled 302, which tied the mark for the second most in franchise history.

OLD FACES IN NEW PLACES: In the current series versus the Louisville Bats, there is a pair of former Iowa Cubs who now play for Louisville in Levi Jordan and P.J. Higgins. Jordan and Higgins were both members of the Iowa Cubs last season and have started each of the previous two games against their former ballclub. Jordan has had success against Iowa this series hitting .500 (5-for-10) at the dish with a double and a run scored. Meanwhile, Higgins has gone 3-for-7 with a home run, two RBI, and a pair of runs scored. Looking back at the 2023 season, Jordan played in just 22 games for Iowa and hit .179/.295/.358 with two doubles, two triples, two homers, and 10 RBI. Comparatively, Higgins played in 32 games for Iowa and hit .285/.333/.480 with nine doubles, five homers, and 21 RBI.

ON THE MOUND: With Louisville mounting a comeback after scoring two runs in the eighth making it a 4-3 game Wednesday, the I-Cubs turned to veteran Carl Edwards Jr. on the mound. The 2016 World Series Champion came through for Iowa and proceeded to shut down the Bats and secure the victory. In his outing, Edwards Jr. went 2.0 innings with just one hit allowed and three strikeouts compared to zero walks. He was also credited with a save, which marked his first since June 15, 2023, when he was a member of the Washington Nationals. The 2024 season had an interesting start for the 32-year-old who was originally signed by Chicago to a minor league deal on February 6, but then was released on March 24. Ultimately Edwards Jr. was signed again to a minor league deal by Chicago on April 4 and then he joined Iowa on April 5. Since joining Iowa, Edwards Jr. has appeared in four games and owns an ERA of 3.18. In 5.2 innings of work this season he has allowed two earned runs off four hits, has five strikeouts compared to three walks, and is holding opponents to a .190 hitting clip.

AGAINST LOUISVILLE: Iowa and Louisville played their first series of the season beginning on Tuesday. Iowa leads the current series 2-0 after securing wins on Tuesday and Wednesday. The all-time series between the I-Cubs and the Bats sits at 34-28 in favor of Iowa. In games at Principal Park, Iowa is 22-13 against Louisville. The two clubs faced each other in the last series of 2023 with Iowa winning the first three games and Louisville taking the last four. Iowa went 10-7 vs. the Bats last season and tallied a 7-5 record at Principal Park.

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