The Iowa Cubs (51-44) celebrated a walk-off victory in game one of a split doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. Eli Whiteside lined a one-out single to left in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Jonathan Mota with the winning run in a 6-5 victory over the Oklahoma City RedHawks (48-49). Iowa once trailed in the game 5-0. With the win, the Cubs improved to an amazing 26-4 record in day games this season. The game was a seven inning game.
Iowa came into the bottom of the seventh, down 5-4. Josh Vitters led off the seventh with a flare over the third baseman for a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Brett Jackson. Ryan Kalish roped a double to left-center field on the next pitch. There appeared to be miscommunication between Jackson and manager Marty Pevey, coaching third. Jackson stopped rounding third and started again for home but was thrown out trying to score the tying run. Mota, in his first game back with Iowa from double-A Tennessee, ripped a double to the left field corner tying the game at 5-5 and sending RedHawks reliever Jason Stoffel (2-3) to the showers. Kevin Chapman came on to pitch for the RedHawks and walked Lars Anderson, leading to Whiteside’s heroics.
Marcos Mateo (1-0) came on to pitch for Iowa in relief of starter Dan Straily and picked up the victory, tossing three strong innings. Mateo gave up only one hit and one walk, striking out six RedHawks batters.
Down 5-0 in the fourth, Iowa plated four runs in the bottom of the inning. The big blow came when Ryan Kalish drilled a 1-2 pitch from RedHawks starter Tommy Shirley over the right-center field wall for a three-run homer. The home run was the fifth for Kalish with Iowa. Kalish went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI and two runs scored.
Iowa starter Dan Straily, acquired in the Jeff Samrdzija trade with the Oakland Athletics, struggled. Straily lasted four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
Game two of the doubleheader begins at 7:05 PM on Saturday night at Principal Park.