JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Iowa Cubs (61-72) dropped both halves of Friday’s doubleheader to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (71-61) on Friday at 121 Financial Ballpark, evening the series at two games apiece.
Game one, the resumption of Thursday’s suspended game, picked up play in the bottom of the first as a scoreless contest. It didn’t stay that way for long, however. Erik González kicked off the scoring for Jacksonville in the bottom of the second with a two-run home run, but the Jumbo Shrimp didn’t stop there. They tacked on two more runs against starter Matt Swarmer in the bottom of the third, bringing the score to 4-0.
After pitching a scoreless fourth, Swarmer gave way to the bullpen, who didn’t fare any better against Jacksonville’s offense. The Jumbo Shrimp scored six runs against Jonathan Holder in the fifth and sixth innings, three runs against Dakota Mekkes in the sixth and seventh innings, and three runs against Blake Whitney in the eighth inning. That brought their run total to 16.
All the while, Jacksonville’s pitching staff held the I-Cubs scoreless, limiting them to just four hits, so game one ended with a final score of 16-0.
Game two started off much differently – as a pitchers’ duel. Iowa starter Wyatt Short ran into trouble early after loading the bases with just one out, but managed to escape the frame without any damage. Jacksonville once again opened the scoring in the second inning, but this time, the first run came home on a throwing error from Short.
Short settled in after that, allowing only a single baserunner in each of the third and fourth innings. The Jumbo Shrimp got runners as far as second and third base against the lefty in the fifth, but he stranded them there and exited a 1-0 ballgame after five.
Iowa scored their only run of game two in the fourth inning. After John Hicks reached base on a force out, he advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third and came home on a second wild pitch, tying the game at 1-1.
The score held there until the bottom of the seventh. Brendon Little got within one out of sending the game to extra innings, but Willians Astudillo prevented that with a two-run, walk-off home run to secure the doubleheader sweep for Jacksonville by a final score of 3-1 in game two.
After losing game one, Iowa was officially eliminated from postseason contention. They now stand 20.5 games out of first in the International League…