Prospect Round-up: Hitting Rules the System

Hitting was the highlight of the Cubs' farm system on Wednesday. Tennessee went back in time – 100 years, to be exact – and totaled 13 hits. Daytona's D.J. LeMahieu kept his hitting streak alive, and Peoria tied its season high in runs and hits.

(PHOTO/TENNESSEE SMOKIES)

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TENNESSEE 8, BIRMINGHAM 7 (DOUBLE-A)

Playing at historic Rickwood Field and wearing the uniforms of the 1910 Knoxville Appalachians, Tennessee (31-21) had several good hitting performances.

Outfielder Matt Spencer hit his eighth home run, but the big blow came from Marquez Smith in the 11th inning. Smith launched his third homer since being sent down from Triple-A Iowa last month to pull the Smokies ahead for good.

Smith had two hits, while the home run by Spencer tied him with Smokies teammate Ty Wright for the Cubs farm system lead in home runs. Wright had four hits and drove in a run to extend his farm system lead in RBI to 43, eight ahead of second-place Greg Rohan of Peoria. He had two doubles to bring his total to 17.

Craig Muschko started and wasn't quite as sharp as Austin Bibens-Dirkx the night before. The right-hander's ERA ballooned to 5.14 after allowing five runs for the third consecutive outing. He went 4 2/3 innings and allowed eight hits in the no-decision. Right-hander David Cales worked a scoreless inning in relief for the save. He lowered his ERA to 2.43 with his 13th scoreless outing in his last 14 games.

A crowd of 9,448 watched the extra-inning contest, dubbed simply as the annual "Rickwood Classic" at America's oldest ballpark.

Smokies second baseman Tony Thomas said it was a fun experience going back in time.

"It was definitely a time warp as far as scenery and with us wearing our (throwback uniforms)," Thomas said. "Pretty much everyone on our team wore our pants a little baggy just to (capture) the image a little better. It was fun."

CHARLOTTE 4, DAYTONA 1 (CLASS HIGH-A)

D. J. LeMahieu, the Cubs' second-round pick in the 2009 draft from LSU, is as hot as they come. LeMahieu recorded another two hits Wednesday for his fourth straight two-hit game. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games overall, and his .272 average is the highest since April 16. He is batting .406 (28-for-69) against left-handers and managed both hits off Stone Crabs southpaw Frank De Los Santos.

Right-hander Rafael Dolis (3-4, 2.45 ERA) suffered the loss despite allowing only two runs in five innings for the Cubs (24-29). He gave up seven hits and struck out three.

PEORIA 11, SOUTH BEND 3 (CLASS LOW-A)

The Chiefs (29-24) tied their season high for runs and hits (16) as five players finished with two hits or more. Charles Thomas, the Cubs' 10th-round pick in 2009, led the way with a season high four hits and clubbed his third home run.

Jae-Hoon Ha picked up his second straight multi-hit game and finished with three hits. The Korean outfielder, signed in 2008, has a hit in five of his first six games since joining the team from extended spring training and is batting .364 (8-for-22).

Ha is one of a number of players that have helped sparked the Chiefs' offense after joining the team after Opening Day. Nelson Perez, who began the season in Daytona, was 0-for-5 Wednesday, but is still hitting .366 (15-41) in his first 10 games with Peoria.

D.J. Fitzgerald, who like Ha also began the year in extended spring training, added three hits Wednesday, including his second home run (a three-run blast), to up his average to .330 in 29 games.

Peoria got solid pitching from starter Jeffrey Antigua (2-4, 4.70) and three relievers. After Antigua scattered two runs in five innings with six strikeouts, Yohan Gonzalez, James Leverton and Steven Grife combined for four innings of one-run ball in relief.

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