Cubs Double-A affiliate takes home Southern League championship
While the Cubs are in the final stretch of the season, one of their affiliates – the Double-A Tennessee Smokies – finished their season on top Tuesday. The Smokies defeated the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 10-3 to win their first outright Southern League title in 45 years.
The Smokies were led by Cade Horton, the Cubs’ No. 11 prospect according to Lance Brozdowski’s preseason rankings, who pitched 5 innings and allowed only 1 hit and 1 run. On offense, B.J. Murray went 1-for-4, hitting a 3-run homer to take the lead in the top of the 3rd and the Smokies never looked back.
Some of the other contributors on offense included Kevin Alcántara, who had a team-high 3 hits, while Matt Shaw, Owen Caissie and Haydn McGeary all drove in runs in the 6th. For the first time since 1978, the Smokies were champions.
Kevin Graber, first-year manager for the Smokies, said his favorite part about this team was the players.
“What I said to them after we won the championship last night, among other things, I said it’s really, really special when you have a group of players and everybody wants to win a championship,” Graber said.
Graber also said that when he woke up Tuesday knowing Horton was on the bump, he knew it would be a good day.
For highlights from yesterday’s clinching win and Graber’s interview with Lance Brozdowski on Cubs Live!, check out the video above.