Cubs

On The Farm: Another Day, Another Big Game For Clevenger

On The Farm: Another Day, Another Big Game For Clevenger

Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010
Posted: 7:30 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBSTennessee AA
Steve Clevenger continued his one-man assault against Mississippi on Sunday, leading Tennessee to an 11-2 victory at Smokies Park.

Clevenger had a homer and four RBIs after hitting a homer and driving in five on Saturday. He has nine hits in his last nine at-bats against the Braves. Marwin Gonzalez added four hits and a pair of RBIs while Matt Spencer had a homer and two runs batted in.

Rafael Dolis 4-3 allowed a run in five innings while striking out five.

The Smokies lost an arm and added an arm as well on Sunday, bidding adieu to RHP Chris Carpenter, who heads to Triple-A Iowa, while welcoming fellow RHP Trey McNutt from Class-A Daytona. Carpenter, a third-round pick in 2008, leaves with an 8-6 record and a 3.16 ERA. He fanned 100 batters.

McNutt, meanwhile, represents yet another mound success story for the Cubs this season. Hes 10-0 with a 1.97 ERA while splitting time between Peoria of the Midwest League and Daytona. Hes fanned 119 in just over 100 innings and will join Chris Archer, whom he replaced at Daytona when Archer was promoted to Tennessee in June, as the Smokies zero in on a Southern League title.

Chicago RHP Esmailin Caridad also joined the Smokies as he works his way back from an elbow strain.
Iowa AAA
Jay Jacksons streaky season continued Sunday afternoon as Iowa upended Nashville, 3-2, at Principal Park. The I-Cubs, who own the best record in the Pacific Coast League, are a season-high 20 games over .500.

Jackson 10-8 snapped a two-start losing streak after throwing five solid innings. Hes been winning in long streaks this year and losing in much shorter ones thanks in part to efforts like Sundays. He allowed only two runs on six hits and struck out six before a trio of relievers kept the Sounds from making any noise. Jeff Stevens pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his fifth save.

The Cubs scored twice in the fifth inning, equaling the two runs Nashville put up in the top of the frame, to take a 3-2 lead. Matt Camp tied the score with an RBI double before the winning run scored on a Ty Wright double play.

In other action, Daytona and Brevard County were postponed and will play a doubleheader on Monday beginning at 5:05 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Peoria dropped a 4-2 decision at Clinton's Alliant Energy Field. Maolin De Leon allowed a trio of fourth-inning runs and suffered the loss. Hak-Ju Lee, Jae-Hoon Ha and Justin Bour each had a pair of hits. The loss pushed the Chiefs 2.5 games out of a wild-card spot in the Midwest League playoff picture. Vancouver edged Boise, 4-3. Peirre LaPage had a pair of hits and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to five games.
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
The Dash held off a furious late charge by Potomac and earned a 9-8 victory at Pfitzner Stadium.

Potomac scored four times in the eighth and once more in the ninth before the game ended on a play at the plate. Jose Lozada was attempting to score on a pitch that got by catcher Jason Bour. He retrieved the ball and fired to pitcher Tyson Corley, who applied the tag for the final out, giving the hurler his eighth save.

Terry Doyle 6-8 gave up a run in five innings to pick up his first victory since July 8. He had been 0-5 in seven starts since. Seth Loman had three hits, including a homer, and two RBIs for the Dash.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators swept a doubleheader at Greensboro Sunday afternoon and once again they benefited from some strong starting pitching. Andre Rienzo pitched a complete game in the opener as Kannapolis earned a 5-0 victory.

It was Rienzos fourth consecutive victory and seventh in nine starts. He allowed only three hits and struck out nine in the seven-inning affair, lowering his ERA to a season-low 3.90. He has a 1.41 ERA in his last eight starts, a stretch of 51 innings.

Ian Gac had three hits, including one of Kannapoliss three home runs. Nick Ciolli had a homer and two RBIs while Trayce Thompson had two hits, including a solo homer.

The bats took over in the nightcap, a 9-5 victory. Thompson had another homer and drove in three while had a hit and picked up two more RBIs. Matt Hopps 2-10 picked up his first victory since May 27.
Birmingham AA
Johnnie Lowe continued his hot streak for the Barons as they defeated visiting Huntsville, 5-1, Sunday evening.

Lowe 6-4 won for the second time in three starts after allowing a run on two hits in six innings. He has a 2.20 ERA in his last three starts. Deunte Heath preserved the victory with three shutout innings. Both pitchers fanned six. Dale Mollenhauer had three RBis for the Barons.
Great Falls Rookie
The Voyagers exploded for eight first-inning runs and then held on for a 12-10 victory at Ogden.

Andy Wilkins and Mike Early each had two hits and two RBIs while Mike Blanke added a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Despite allowing three runs in 1 13 innings, Rene Garcia picked up his first win of the season.

In other action, Clint Sammons solo homer sparked a two-run 10th inning and gave Gwinnett a 10-8 victory over Charlotte at Knights Stadium. The loss snapped Charlottes winning streak at three games. Greg Aquino took the loss. Dayan Viciedo had three hits, including a pair of homers, and three RBIs. Stefan Gartrell had two hits, including a homer, and three RBIs. ... Johnson City downed Bristol, 3-1, in Appalachian League play. The Sox managed only four hits. Kevin Rath took the loss, allowing all three runs in two innings. Matt Heidenreich started and tossed six shutout innings. he's got a 0.67 ERA in his last four starts.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Podcast: Wild week at Wrigley wraps up with Cubs showing what they’re made of

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AP

Podcast: Wild week at Wrigley wraps up with Cubs showing what they’re made of

The Cubs have been a different team the last six weeks, looking a lot more like the resilient bunch from 2016 than the sluggish 2017 squad that lacked energy. After some wacky circumstances Monday and a tough loss in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Cubs came out and showed what they’re made of in the last two games of the series against the Dodgers, a team that knocked them out of postseason play last fall.

Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sum up the longest short homestand (or shortest long homestand?), updating the status of Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, the Cubs pitching staff and how the team is rounding into form as the season’s halfway mark approaches.

Check out the entire podcast here:

Chandler Hutchison's unusual basketball background makes him an intriguing target for the Bulls

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USA TODAY

Chandler Hutchison's unusual basketball background makes him an intriguing target for the Bulls

Over the past several weeks, the Bulls have been heavily rumored to be selecting Boise State small forward Chandler Hutchison with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Although the 6-foot-7 Hutchison had a stellar four-year career with the Broncos, and was regarded as a top-100 national prospect coming out of high school, his background is relatively unknown compared to many of his first-round counterparts. Not many recruiting gurus watched Hutchison in-depth in high school. The same could be said about draft analysts watching Hutchison's career unfold at Boise State.

Part of the reason Hutchison has flown under the radar for so long, despite being a first-round talent, is his unique basketball upbringing. Many elite high school players opt to transfer to big-time basketball schools while playing in high-exposure shoe-company leagues during the spring and summer. Instead of the normal path, Hutchison chose to stick with the people that he trusted.

Playing for a small, independent grassroots program in high school known as Team Eastbay, Hutchison started showing special gifts as a sophomore in before blossoming into a top-100 national prospect towards the end of high school. Hutchison's trainer and coach with Team Eastbay, Perry Webster, saw that Chandler had the ability to be a big-time player.

"I walked into the gym and saw this 15-year-old kind of gangly kid. And he just moved different than anybody else. I thought he had a chance to be a pretty good player," Webster said of Hutchison.

As Hutchison developed more of a reputation in the Southern California basketball scene, becoming a starter at Mission Viejo High School his junior season, he started to draw more attention from local and national recruiting analysts — including former ESPN recruiting insider Joel Francisco, Scout.com's Josh Gershon and SoCal recruiting analyst Devin Ugland.

"You saw during his junior year that he was a legitimate Division I prospect. During the spring he started blossoming," Francisco said. "He had the ball skills and the prototypical length and things like that. And he was finishing plays. He had a good IQ for the game. It was a matter of strength and he had to fill out to become a more complete player."

By the end of summer going into his senior season, Hutchison had established himself as a potential Pac-12 recruit, as schools like Oregon and USC started to show heavy interest. But it was mid-major programs like Boise State, Saint Mary's and UC-Irvine who had long been involved in Hutchison's recruitment.

Knowing that Hutchison was a unique wing with a high IQ and passing skills, Webster, a former Division I player at Cal State Fullerton himself, advised that his star player take a close look at the programs that would put him in position to succeed right away.

"Every AAU program in Southern California was trying to get him for their team. Free ride this, free shoes. The kid stayed really loyal to me. I was very hard on him," Webster said. "I demanded a lot of him. I screamed at him, I yelled at him. And he looked me in the eye and took it. I realized, this kid is pretty special because he's not running away from what he is. He knows what his limitations are. That's not something he's afraid to address.

"Not everybody was sold on him. Joel [Francisco] was. Joel was one of the proponents of him. But being that he burst on the scene late, and that he didn't play for the big shoe companies, we kind of came to the decision that we wouldn't be so enamored by the Pac-12. He realized he had ability but he still had a long way to go." 

Hutchison eventually decided to sign his National Letter of Intent with Boise State before his senior season started as assistant coach Jeff Linder acted as his lead recruiter. Even though his collegiate future had been decided, Hutchison continued to evolve into a major prospect during senior year as he flourished at Mission Viejo.

Even with his strong senior season, skepticism remained about Hutchison since he hadn't played with and against many of the major names in Southern California. Ranked as the No. 83 overall prospect in ESPN's final Class of 2014 national recruiting rankings, Hutchison was viewed as the seventh best player in his own state. While Francisco pushed for Hutchison to be ranked in the top 50, he had to settle for him being a back-end top-100 talent.

"They're like, hey, he's going to Boise State, he's not on a major shoe company team. How good can he be? But if he can play, he can play. It doesn't matter if he's not on the adidas circuit, he's not in the EYBL," Francisco said.

Francisco wasn't the only major recruiting analyst to take notice of Hutchison's play. Rivals.com's Eric Bossi also labeled Hutchison as a potential breakout player at Boise State. Hutchison was even placed in the Rivals national recruiting rankings, ending up at No. 98 overall, after his senior season. Bossi was on vacation with his family during spring break and he happened to see Hutchison play during his senior season. But Hutchison's strong effort, along with some research, convinced Bossi that he was worthy of a top-100 ranking, even with only one serious viewing. 

"I decided to go watch some regional California high school playoff stuff. And it just so happened to be that Chandler's high school team was one of the teams I was seeing," Bossi said. "I knew he was on the team and committed to Boise State. But then when I watched him play I was like, 'Holy cow, what an incredible get for Boise State. Like, this dude's legit.' He had great size for a wing. He could handle the ball, he could really pass and I thought he could defend multiple positions at the next level when it was all said and done. I thought he was a versatile, well-skilled, well-rounded basketball player. So, based on that, I thought he was top-100. I wish I had seen him more."

Even as a former top-100 national prospect, it took some time for Hutchison to gain traction at Boise State as he didn't put up big numbers during his first two seasons. Although Hutchison played plenty of minutes and started a healthy amount of games, he often took a back seat to talented all-conference players like Anthony Drmic and James Webb III.

When those players eventually moved on from the Broncos, Hutchison was given his chance to shine, as his ascension into all-conference player and future first-round pick came with an intense work ethic that continually developed during workouts in college.

Hutchison also became a consistent three-point threat — something he had been lacking during his development — as he became a hot name in the 2018 NBA Draft despite his unorthodox basketball background.

"He's always been competitive. I think the big thing is reps. And it still will be as he continues to play in the league," Webster said. "He wasn't a bad shooter in high school, but I think the big adjustment for him getting to college, it's hard to put up good percentages in college. I think some of it is mental. But I think he's a good shooter and I think that he'll prove that." 

It's hard to predict if the Bulls will end up with Hutchison with the No. 22 overall pick on Thursday night — especially given all of the chaos that can occur on draft night. But if Hutchison does end up in Chicago, he won't be fazed by having to prove himself after already doing so at the high school and college level.