Logan Watkins scored on a wild pitch in the top of the 11th inning as the Iowa Cubs (17-13) took a 5-4 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs (14-19) in 11 innings on Tuesday night at Zephyr Field. Marcos Mateo picked up his second save of the season, pitching a scoreless 11th inning, despite walking two batters.
Josh Vitters was the offensive player of the game for Iowa. Vitters blasted a 1-1 pitch by Zephyrs starter Bryan Evans over the left field wall for a two-run home run in the second to tie the game at 2-2. Vitters came up again in the fourth and hammered the first pitch over the wall for another two-run homer, giving Iowa a 4-2 lead. Vitters became the first Iowa player to hit more than one home run in a game this season and the first Iowa player to homer in three consecutive games. Vitters’ last four hits have all been home runs and he leads the team with six.
Tsuyoshi Wada continued to pitch well for Iowa. In his sixth start of the season, Wada pitched six innings and gave up three runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout. The three runs Wada allowed came on home runs by Mark Canha and former Chicago Cubs farmhand, Justin Bour. Wada has given up five runs over 37.1 innings. All five runs have scored via the home run ball, a two-run homer and three solo home runs. Wada’s ERA currently stands at 1.21.
Down 4-3 in the seventh, the Zephyrs scored the tying run off Carlos Pimentel. Pimentel’s appearance was his first relief appearance of the season after making five starts. After Rob Brantly led off the inning with a triple down the right field line, former Iowa Cubs outfielder Brian Bogusevic drove him in with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4.
The game would remain tied until Watkins scored in the 11th. Zac Rosscup (2-0) picked up the victory for Iowa, tossing a scoreless tenth inning.
Watkins and Chris Valaika had two hits each for Iowa.
Game two of the series is Wednesday at Zephyr Field.