Preps Talk

On The Farm: Iowa Stages Monstrous Rally To Retain First Place

On The Farm: Iowa Stages Monstrous Rally To Retain First Place

Thursday, Sept. 2
Posted: 9:15 a.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS
Iowa AAA
The I-Cubs, knowing that a loss would drop them into a first-place tie with Memphis, did what any team would do in that situation. They staged a monstrous, miraculous rally Wednesday night, scoring nine ninth-inning runs to stun Albuquerque, 15-13, at Isotopes Park.

The victory keeps Iowa a game ahead of the Redbirds with five left to play. The I-Cubs close out their series in New Mexico on Thursday before heading home for a weekend set with Memphis, essentially a four-game playoff series to decide first place in the PCL American North Division.

The rally was Iowas biggest scoring inning of the season and marked its second comeback when trailing after eight innings this week. Prior to turning the trick against Omaha on Sunday, the I-Cubs had been 0-42 when trailing heading into the ninth inning.

Marquez Smith got the ninth started with a leadoff walk and went to third on a Brad Snyder double. Jason Dubois then cut the lead to 13-9 with a three-run homer. After Bryan LaHair singled, Jon Link came on to pitch for the Topes. Bobby Scales then reached on an error and LaHair went to third on a wild pitch before Chris Robinsons double scored LaHair and put runners on second and third.

Jon Mota then whiffed but James Adduci then reached on the second Albuquerque error of the inning, bringing home Scales and putting runners on the corners. Sam Fuld then followed with an RBI single and after a double steal Smith ended the inning with a three-run homer.

The victory was Iowas franchise-record 43rd on the road this season. Justin Berg earned that win with 23 of a scoreless inning. Jay Jackson had started and got trounced, allowing nine runs on 10 hits in four innings. Austin Bibens-Dirkx 5-3, 4.14 will start the series finale. Snyder and Darwin Barney were named to the PCL post-season All-Star team.

Tennessee AA
The Smokies rallied from an early three-run deficit Wednesday night and cruised by Jacksonville, 9-4, at The Baseball Grounds.

Brett Jacksons three-run homer capped a four-run fourth inning that put the Smokies in the lead. Brandon Guyer and Russ Canzler each had three hits for Tennessee while Mark Reed had two hits and two RBIs. Aaron Shafer pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Jeremy Papelbon to earn his second victory.

Guyer, Tony Campana and Robinson Chirinos, since promoted to Iowa, were all named to the Southern Leagues post-season All-Star team.

In other action, Boise bested Spokane, 11-2. Arismendy Alcantara had three hits and three RBIs while Dustin Harrington went 5-for-5 with an RBI. Hes got 10 hits in 22 at-bats over his last four games. Great Falls squeaked by at Helena, 2-0, in White Sox farm-team action. Paul Burnside allowed three hits over six innings to earn his sixth victory and fiorst since Aug. 5.

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

New Trier's Duke Olges gives Northwestern verbal commitment

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247 Sports

New Trier's Duke Olges gives Northwestern verbal commitment

New Trier junior three-star ranked athlete Duke Olges (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) gave Northwestern his verbal commitment last Sunday yet waited until Friday morning to make his decision public via his Twitter page.

Olges, who was recruited by the Wildcats as a defensive tackle, felt pressure to make a decision since the Wildcats already had one defensive tackle verbal commitment in Clear Springs Texas Jason Gold while another defensive tackle with an offer was making an on campus visit later that day.

“I didn’t know if it was the right decision, to be honest. It was impulse more than anything,” Olges told WildcatsReport.com's publisher Louis Vaccher. “But what comforted me is after having a couple days to think about it, I felt a sigh of relief. It would have hurt me too much to let that scholarship go. As much as I wanted to go and visit other schools, losing that scholarship would have hurt more than anything else.”

Olges is now the 10th known verbal commitment in the Wildcats Class of 2019  and the second in state pledge along with Bolingbrook junior DB Cameron Mitchell. 

Olges, who was holding 26 scholarship offers this spring, was planning to make summer visits to Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Virginia and Duke before giving the Wildcats his verbal commitment. 

Why coming to the Bears was the right opportunity for Harry Hiestand to leave Notre Dame

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AP

Why coming to the Bears was the right opportunity for Harry Hiestand to leave Notre Dame

There wasn’t a single game Harry Hiestand coached while at Notre Dame — 77 in total — in which he didn’t have a future top-20 pick starting at left tackle. 

Zack Martin (16th overall, 2014) was followed by Ronnie Stanley (6th overall, 2016), who gave way to Mike McGlinchey (9th overall, 2018). Hiestand also developed Quenton Nelson, who went on to be the highest interior offensive lineman drafted (6th overall, 2018) since 1986. Nelson and McGlinchey became the first pair of college offensive line teammates to be drafted in the first 10 picks since 1991, when Tennessee had tackles Charles McRae and Antone Davis go seventh and eighth. 

“It wasn’t surprising because the kind of guys they are, they absolutely did everything the right way, the way they took care of themselves, the way they trained, the teammates that they are and were,” Hiestand said. “They just did it all the way you wanted them to do it. So it was. It was a good moment.”

Hiestand said he had a sense of pride after seeing his two former players be drafted so high, even if he wasn't able to re-unite with either of them. The Bears, of course, didn’t have a chance to draft Nelson, and had conviction on using the eighth overall pick on linebacker Roquan Smith (as well as having tackles Charles Leno and Bobby Massie in place for the 2018 season). 

Anecdotally, one former Notre Dame player said (maybe half-jokingly) that Nelson and McGlinchey were fighting each other to see who could get drafted by the Bears to play with Hiestand again.

“There’s nobody that I’ve been around in this game that’s more passionate about what he does,” McGlinchey, now with the San Francisco 49ers, said of Hiestand at Notre Dame’s pro day in March. “There’s really only two things that are important to him, and that’s his family and then his offensive linemen. There’s a lot to be said for that. 

“In this game, everybody’s always trying to work an angle to up their own career — he doesn’t want to do anything but coach O-line, and that’s what really sticks out to us as players. He cares for us like we’re his own. Obviously he coaches extremely hard and is very demanding of his players, which I loved — he pushed me to be the player that I am.

“I’m standing in front of all you guys because of Harry Hiestand. But the amount of passion and care that he has not only for his job but his teaching abilities and his players is what sets him apart.”

Hiestand could’ve stayed as long as he wanted at Notre Dame, presumably, given how much success he had recruiting and developing players there. But six years at one spot is a long time for a position coach, especially at the college level, where the grind of recruiting is so vital to the success of a program. It’s also not like every one of the blue-chip prospects Hiestand recruited to South Bend panned out, either. 

So Hiestand knew he wanted to get back to the NFL after coaching with the Bears under Lovie Smith from 2005-2009. It’s a new challenge for him now, not only to develop second-round pick James Daniels but to continue the growth of Cody Whitehair and Leno while getting the most out of Kyle Long, Massie and the rest of the group (back during his first stint with the Bears, Hiestand had the luxury of coaching experienced, more ready-made offensive lines). 

As one of the more highly-regarded offensive line coaches in the country, though, Hiestand could’ve jumped back into the NFL whenever, and nearly wherever, he wanted. And for him, coming back to the Bears was the perfect fit. 

“That’s an awesome, awesome place, a great franchise,” Hiestand said. “It was something, I always wanted to go back, I didn’t know where I would get the opportunity. So I’m just very fortunate it just happened to be back at the same place that I was before. There are a lot of things that are different but there’s also a lot that’s the same. 

“But it’s one of the — it is the greatest organization. Historically, this is where it all began, and being part of it — and the other thing, and I told those guys when I got here, when we get it done here, you guys are going to see this city like you’ve never seen it. And I remember that. That’s what we’re after.”