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April 20 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs vs. Louisville Bats

April 20, 2024 - International League (IL)
Iowa Cubs News Release


Saturday, April 20 - 3:08 PM CT - Principal Park - Des Moines, IA

RHP Riley Thompson (1-0, 4.50) vs. RHP Connor Phillips (1-1, 8.38)

TODAY'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs host the Louisville Bats for the fifth of a six-game series today at Principal Park...Iowa will send right-hander Riley Thompson to the mound vs. Louisville right-hander Connor Phillips.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The I-Cubs dropped both games of yesterday's first double- header of the season against the Bats... they lost game one, 9-6, and game two, 4-1, both in seven innings...Iowa was .500 in double-dips last season, going 7-7 in such games in 2023. They won both games on two occasions, lost both on two more, and split the pair three other times.

FIRST OF THE YEAR: Cubs hurler Riley Thompson has been a starter for the majority of his MiLB career, tallying 59 starts in 71 career games, but he hasn't begun a contest on the bump since September 20, 2023, as all six of his appearances this season have been in 19 starts for Iowa last season, Thompson pitched to a 3-7 record with a 4.89 ERA...this season out of the pen, Thompson owns a 1-0 record and 4.50 ERA in 12.0 innings of work.

A MIXED BAG: In his first start as a member of the Cubs organization, MLB veteran starter and two time NL All-Star Julio Teheran did not factor in the decision as he threw 4.1 innings and allowed five runs on five hits (one home run) with two strikeouts...two of Teheran's four completed innings were of the 1-2-3 variety, but the other two consisted of three hits, a walk, a home run, and two earned runs...the fourth inning, Teheran recorded just one out, allowed two hits, hit a batter, and was charged with three more earned runs.

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 games against their former ballclub...Jordan has had success against Iowa this series hitting .500 (5-for-10) but was placed on the injured list yesterday...meanwhile, Higgins has gone 7-for-14 with a home run, three RBI and three 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.

IN THE STANDINGS: Despite getting swept in yesterday's doubleheader, the I-Cubs are still tied for first place in the International League West Division with Omaha...they led the league by just 1.0 game, ahead of Indianapolis, Nashville and Toledo...since dropping the first two games of the season at Omaha, Iowa is 11-6 in their last 17 games.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE PARK: After Cub corner infielder BJ Murray Jr. hit an inside- the-park home run on April 12 on the road against St. Paul for his first Triple-A round- tripper, he counted his first traditional long ball for the I-Cubs on Friday...leading off the bottom of the sixth inning of game two at Principal Park, Murray Jr. took the 3-2 offering from Bats reliever Brooks Kriske over the right field wall for a solo home run and Iowa's only run of the night cap...after starting the season with 5-for-43 at the plate in his first 11 Triple-A games, Murray Jr. is 7-for-his-last-17 over his last six games...additionally, he has six RBI over that span.

CAISSIE AT THE BAT: The No. 44 prospect in all of baseball ( Owen Caissie has reached base in 16 of his 17 games this season with an at-bat...he is slashing .274/.408/.452 with one home run and 10 RBI...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 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.

AGAINST LOUISVILLE: Iowa and Louisville began their first series of the season on Tuesday...Iowa and Louisville are split in the series 2-2 after Louisville took both games of the doubleheader yesterday...the all-time series between the I-Cubs and the Bats sits at 34-30 in favor of games played at Principal Park, Iowa is 22-15 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...the I-Cubs went 10-7 vs. the Bats last season and tallied a 7-5 record at Principal Park.

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