The Cubs now have two teams playing for league championships.
The Tennessee Smokies swept past Chattanooga on Saturday night to claim a spot in the Southern League Championship Series later this week. This marks the third consecutive year that Tennessee has reached the final round of the playoffs. Hopefully this will be the year that the Cubs Double-A franchise finally breaks through and wins it all.
In the 7-2 win, the Smokies did not rely on one big inning as they had previously in the series, but scored multiple runs in three of the first four innings. Trey McNutt and the bullpen held Chattanooga to just two runs. The Smokies led this game the entire way.
Rebel Ridling led the way with four RBIs, and Jae-Hoon Ha crossed the plate twice. Even Trey McNutt got in on the offense, collecting a hit and a run of his own. The bullpen pitched four innings of one hit ball to cap their incredible series.
The Smokies now have three days off to rest, prepare, and learn who their opponent will be in the championship series. We do know that series will begin on Wednesday, and it will begin on the road.
Further south, Daytona is one game away from their own championship. A 10-4 win at home sends Daytona on the road looking for just one more win to clinch the FSL Championship. Frank Del Valle was masterful on the mound, striking out eight in six scoreless innings, and Justin Bour and Michael Burgess led another potent offensive attack. The Cubs will be in St. Lucie tonight, looking for their fifth straight playoff win and a Florida State League title.