Fans that braved the dreary weather on Sunday witnessed an improbable comeback at Principal Park. After a 57 minute delay due to rain, the sun came out and the Iowa Cubs (19-15) overcame an eight-run deficit, defeating the Nashville Sounds 12-11 in a game that featured a little bit of everything.
Iowa took the lead in the eighth inning, posting three runs without hitting the ball out of the infield. After Jonathan Mota led off the inning with a walk, Matt Szczur singled to shortstop. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners and Javier Baez followed with a walk to load the bases with one out. Lars Anderson then picked up an RBI on a walk, cutting the Sounds lead to 11-10. Sounds pitcher Donovan Hand (0-1) struck out Chris Valaika for the second out of the inning. In one of the stranger ways to score the winning run, Hand then uncorked a wild pitch allowing Szczur to score, momentarily tying the game. Baez, having advanced from second to third, rounded third and sprinted home with the winning run when Hand failed to cover home plate, for a two-run wild pitch that gave Iowa the lead, 12-11.
The comeback became necessary when the Sounds offense jumped all over Iowa starter Dallas Beeler in the first two innings. Nashville posted five runs in the first, helped by three Iowa errors. The first eight Sounds batters all reached base via hit, walk, error, and a hit by pitch.
After Hunter Morris extended the Sounds lead to 8-0 with a two-run homer in the top of the second, Iowa plated four runs in the bottom of the inning. The big blow in the inning for Iowa was a bases loaded three-run double by Logan Watkins. Watkins has been impressive with the bases loaded this season, going 3-for-4 with 7 RBI.
Down 11-4, Iowa scored five runs in the sixth. After pitcher Carlos Pimentel singled to lead off the inning, Eli Whiteside drilled an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for a two-run homer, his second. Lars Anderson’s two-run single later in the inning brought Iowa a little closer and Anderson would score on Chris Valaika’s single, cutting the lead to 11-9 and setting the stage for the dramatic eighth inning.
Alberto Cabrera (3-0) picked up the win for Iowa pitching a scoreless eighth inning and Blake Parker came on in the ninth to record his sixth save.
Valaika picked up three hits on the afternoon, raising his batting average to .321 while Anderson went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI and two runs scored for Iowa.
For the Sounds (20-17), Elian Herrera was 4-for-5 with 4 RBI and two runs scored. Pete Orr picked up three hits for Nashville.
Game three of the series is Monday evening at Principal Park.