Final 2004 Minor League Notebook

All but one Cubs minor league affiliate wrapped up a post-season birth this season; the other said goodbye to 2004 on Labor Day Monday while one affiliate, the Boise Hawks, kickstarted their post-season with a 'W.'

AAA-Iowa Cubs

DES MOINES, Iowa - Kevin McGlinchy returned from the DL and had a rough go of things in the Iowa Cubs' regular season finale Monday. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits in only four innings as the Omaha Royals topped Iowa 7-3.

The devestating blow came courtesy of Jed Hansen's team-leading 27th homerun, a three-run blast in the fifth inning off recently promoted right-hander Jae-Kuk Ryu that gave Omaha a 6-1 cushion. Ryu was roughed up in his first ever Triple-A appearance, working two-third's of an inning and allowing four runs on two hits.

Micah Hoffpauir and Adam Greenberg also made their Triple-A debuts. Hoffpauir stroked an RBI double off Royals starter Les Walrond in the second inning, while Greenberg was hitless in four at-bats, drawing a base on balls in the fifth.

Walrond (11-5), the Royals' leader in wins this season, allowed two runs on five hits as well, but he went six innings and struck out four.

The Cubs closed out the regular season 37-30 at Principal Park with the fifth best attendance (540,555) in the Pacific Coast League behind Memphis, Sacramento, Albuquerque and Fresno. They also hit .274 as a team in their home park while posting a staff ERA of 4.38. Most impressive at the Cubs' home confines was right-hander Sergio Mitre, who posted a 2.37 ERA in 10 starts, and INF Gookie Dawkins, who hit .341 in 37 games.

Iowa has Tuesday off before league playoffs begin Wednesday with the Cubs taking on the Eastern Division champion Oklahoma Redhawks at 7:05 CT in Des Moines. Approximately twenty minutes after the game, a special showing of the documentary "This Old Cub," the life story of Cubs great Ron Santo, will air in its entirety for those in attendance.

For playoff tickets, phone 515-243-6111 or visit the Iowa Cubs' box office.

AA-West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Bobby Dickerson's West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx said goodbye to the 2004 season in a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Greenville Braves. Lee Evans hit a two-run double and Scott Thorman tacked on a solo homerun to aid Greenville in the victory.

Ryan O'Malley (2-3) was tagged for the loss and gave up all three runs in six innings. He struck out three and walked one in his final start of the season.

West Tenn managed just three hits all afternoon, courtesy of a complete-game shutout by Braves starter Ray Aguilar. Aguilar (2-3) struck out a season-high seven. It was the 24-year-old left-hander's first career complete game.

The Jaxx closed out the year 70-68 for the regular season. Leading the Jaxx in hitting this year was Southern League MVP Richard Lewis, who batted .329 in 99 games with the team. Of the current roster, OF Aron Weston batted .287 and played in all but 15 of the team's games. OF Dwaine Bacon played in the most games (129) and hit .248 to go with a league-best 60 stolen bases. He was thrown out only 20 times.

Class Mid-A Lansing Lugnuts

GENEVA, Ill. - The Lansing Lugnuts lost a shot at winning the Midwest League East for the second half of league play Monday as Korey Wayment drove in four to guide the Kane County Cougars to an 11-10 shootout victory. Wayment broke an 0-for-20 slump with a solo homerun off Lansing starter Walt Nolen.

Tied 2-2 entering the fifth, the Lugnuts broke for seven runs on as many hits. After Alberto Garcia was hit by a pitch from Kane County starter Jared Trout, the Lugnuts proceeded to tally five straight singles, including run-scoring hits from Ryan Fitzgerald, Uriak Marquez and Brian Dopirak. Second baseman Robinson Chirinos also singled and Anthony Granato doubled down the left field line to make it 9-2 Lansing at that point.

The Cougars soon came roaring back.

Kane County struck for four runs in the bottom of the fifth, thanks in large part to more control problems from right-hander Sam Fischer. Fischer walked three batters and gave up four runs, including a two-run double to catcher David Harriman.

It was the eighth time in nine outings that Fischer had given up at least one walk. Nolen left after four innings. In his first start of the year, the McNeese State alum allowed two runs on three hits.

Still trailing 9-6 in the eighth, the Cougars mounted one last charge. Luke Appert and Vasili Spanos both singled with one away off left-hander Clay Rapada. With two outs, Rapada (6-6) walked Harriman and then gave up an RBI single to first baseman Eddie Kim, bringing the Cougars to within two at 9-7. Rapada had not been scored upon in his last 10 2/3 innings entering play Monday.

With right-hander Juan Mateo on to pitch, Wayment stepped back in and ripped a bases-clearing three-run double to right to give Kane County a 10-9 lead. Chris Tritle then singled to right, scoring Wayment and making it 11-9.

In the ninth, Chris Walker opened with a single to bring the tying run to the plate. Afterwards, the Cougar bullpen struck out both Dopirak and a pinch-hitting Drew Larsen. Jacob Fox kept things going with an RBI double to right center, scoring the speedy Walker from first and making it 11-10.

Right-hander Jason Windsor then got Chirinos to pop up for the victory.

The Lugnuts finish the regular season 77-63, and 39-31 for the second half of league play, tied with Fort Wayne for second place in the East, one behind division winner West Michigan. Lansing has Tuesday off and will get ready to meet the Whitecaps Wednesday when league playoffs begin in Comstock Park at approximately 6:35 CT. Right-hander Carlos Marmol, the team leader in wins with 14, will get the start as the Lugnuts look to defend their 2003 Midwest League crown.

Get your Lugnuts playoff tickets by visiting the Lugnuts' box office at Olds Park any time from 9:00AM-4:00PM Monday-Friday, or going online to LansingLugnuts.com. For more information, call the Lugnuts at 517-485-4500.

Class Low-A Boise Hawks

BOISE, Id. - The Boise Hawks were winners on opening night of Northwest League playoffs this Labor Day 2004, building a 6-0 lead over the Vancouver Canadians and hanging on for a 7-4 victory. Ryan Harvey homered twice, and Ryan Norwood added a solo shot as part of the Hawks' scoring brigade.

J.R. Mathes pitched in six strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits while fanning five. It was the third time in his last four starts that Mathes (1-0, 3.00 post-season; 3-0, 3.35 regular season) went at least six innings in a start.

Jerry Blevins closed things out in the ninth for his sixth save overall this season, working a one-two-three ninth and striking out catcher Rich Robnett for the victory.

Back in the seventh, right-hander Jonathan Hunton got Kurt Suzuki to pop up with the bases loaded to get the Hawks out of their biggest jam of the night.

Game two of the best-of-five series is set for Tuesday at 8:05 CT. Darin Downs will get the start in the Hawks' 2004 home finale. For tickets, call 208-322-5000.

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