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Iowa drops 4-3 decision to Nashville

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Jeremy Hermida’s pinch-hit RBI groundout in the eighth proved to be the winning run as the Nashville Sounds (16-12) defeated the Iowa Cubs 4-3 on Friday night at Greer Stadium.

The game promised to be close with a pitching match-up of Jimmy Nelson (4-1) for Nashville and Chris Rusin for Iowa (15-11). Nashville didn’t record a hit until the third, while Iowa’s first hit didn’t come until the fifth.

The Sounds broke through first, scoring three runs in the sixth off Rusin (1-4). Hector Gomez’ two-run double put the Sounds on the board and Hainley Statia followed with an RBI double to give the Sounds a 3-0 lead.

Iowa put up two runs in the seventh after wasting a bases loaded with no outs situation in the fifth. In the seventh, Chris Valaika led off with a double to left and scored on an RBI single by Christian Villanueva. Villanueva scored later in the inning on a pinch-hit single by Edgar Gonzalez, cutting the lead to 3-2.

After the Hermida RBI in the eighth, Iowa went to the ninth down 4-2. Facing Sounds closer Donovan Hand, Valaika led off the inning with his second double of the game. Lars Anderson followed with a walk and gave way to pinch-runner Matt Szczur. After Hand struck out Villanueva, Logan Watkins doubled to center, scoring Valaika and sending Szczur to third, cutting the Sounds lead to 4-3. Hand then struck out Eli Whiteside and pinch-hitter Josh Vitters to end the game.

Game two of the series is Saturday night at Greer Stadium.

NOTES: Chris Coghlan was a late scratch from the lineup on Friday, fueling speculation that he will be called up to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. Ryan Sweeney injured his hamstring in the Cubs victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

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