Logan Watkins blasted his third home run of the season in the top of the 14th inning, and gave the Iowa Cubs (49-43) to a 2-1 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers (48-45) in a long Wednesday afternoon at Werner Park. The game included a combined 39 strikeouts and an unlikely winning pitcher.
Michael Heesch (1-0) picked up the victory for Iowa after being called up from single-A Kane County. Heesch began the 11th inning for the Cubs and pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and two walks, while striking out four. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Heesch had never pitched above the single-A level.
Zac Rosscup came on with one out in the 14th and recorded the final two outs of the game to pick up his third save of the season for Iowa.
Prior to Watkins home run off Storm Chasers reliever Ramon Troncoso (1-6), the Omaha pitching staff had tossed 10.1 straight hitless innings against the Cubs, the previous Cubs hit coming on a one out single to left by Manny Ramirez in the fourth.
Iowa took a 1-0 lead in the second when Josh Vitters doubled to center scoring Chris Valaika who reached on an error earlier in the inning for an unearned run.
Omaha would tie the game in the seventh when Matt Fields hit his 16th home run of the season off Iowa starter Eric Jokisch. Jokisch pitched seven strong innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts. The 11 strikeouts by Jokisch was a career-high.
Johnny Giavotella was the lone player in the lineup on either team without a strikeout on Wednesday.
NOTES: There were a slew of roster moves on Wednesday. Arismendy Alcantara was recalled by the Chicago Cubs. Alcantara debuted with Chicago on Wednesday in Cincinnati, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and played second base. Alcantara took the roster spot of Darwin Barney who was placed on the paternity list. Dallas Beeler was also called up for a start and took the loss for the Cubs pitching five innings and allowing four runs. Chris Rusin and Tsuyoshi Wada were optioned back to Iowa. Wada made his Cubs debut on Tuesday, pitching five innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits and one walk while striking out three. Kyle Hendricks makes his Chicago debut on Thursday in Cincinnati.