Mud Hens manic ninth inning rally stuns Cubs

Toledo Mud Hens

TOLEDO, OH.: Trayce Thompson’s first inning home run was one of only a couple highlights through eight innings, but the Toledo Mud Hens erased a three-run deficit in the ninth to pull off an improbable victory, 7-6, over the Iowa Cubs on Friday night at Fifth Third Field.
Consecutive two

TOLEDO, OH.: Trayce Thompson’s first inning home run was one of only a couple highlights through eight innings, but the Toledo Mud Hens erased a three-run deficit in the ninth to pull off an improbable victory, 7-6, over the Iowa Cubs on Friday night at Fifth Third Field.

Consecutive two out hits in the opening inning brought in Iowa’s first run of the game. Nelson Maldonado doubled ahead of Nelson Velasquez, who’s base hit scored Maldonado for the 1-0 advantage.

Thompson responded against Caleb Kilian by smoking a two-run shot to left-center field, plating him and Riley Greene to provide Toledo with its first lead of the night, 2-1. The long ball was the sixth of the season for Trayce in a Mud Hens uniform. He has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and in 15 of his 18 total Toledo assignments since coming over from San Diego’s organization.

Greene went 2-5 with two singles to record his fourth multi-hit effort of the season.

The Cubs immediately seized the lead back from Chase Anderson and the Mud Hens in the second inning. Carlos Sepulveda banged an RBI double for the first run. Former Mud Hen Dixon Machado swatted an RBI knock to bring in Sepulveda for the 3-2 edge.

Narciso Crook blasted his fifth homer of the season in the third to extend Iowa’s lead to 4-2.

Anderson was on the hook for the loss until Toledo pieced together the frantic four-run ninth, surrendering eight hits and four runs over 3 and 1/3’s frames.

Brendon Davis got a run back with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, his second home run of his Mud Hens tenure, to make it 4-3.

Kilian lasted 3 and 2/3’s innings in his start for the I-Cubs, allowing seven hits, three earned runs, a walk, and racking up six punch outs.

Iowa scratched across single tallies opposite Bryan Garcia in the seventh and eighth to push its advantage to 6-3. Levi Jordan touched up on a single from Darius Hill, then drove in John Hicks with a base hit the following inning.

Miguel Diaz and Tyler Alexander combined to spin 2 and 2/3’s scoreless stanzas in advance of Garcia’s appearance.

Toledo wasted no time loading the bases in the fateful final frame, as Jamie Westbrook singled and Zack Short and Akil Baddoo followed by drawing free passes. A wild pitch during Victor Reyes’ at-bat forced in Westbrook for the first run. Reyes struck out but reached on another wayward offering that plated Short. Greene tied the game with a groundout. Three batters later, Josh Lester delivered the game-sealing sacrifice fly to center field.

Brendon Little (1-1) received the loss for Iowa, giving up two hits and three walks while retiring just two hitters.

Shea Spitzbarth (1-0) spun a scoreless top half of the ninth to earn the victory.

NEXT UP: With a Hens series victory already assured, Toledo and Iowa will face off for the fifth time in this six-game series at Fifth Third Field on Saturday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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