Daytona Beach, FL - The Daytona Cubs took game one of the FSL North Championship Series 6-1 over the Dunedin Blue Jays on Tuesday at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Daytona's pitchers struck out 12 and walked one while not allowing an earned run in the game.
Cubs starting pitcher RHP Corey Black (W, 5-0) seemed in the zone from the first time he toed the rubber, which happened to be one hour and 56 minutes after the scheduled first pitch because of weather.
Black struck out the first two batters he faced, and fanned seven over five shutout innings. Black surrendered five hits and walked one.
Daytona manufactured a run in the first inning off Blue Jays starter RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (L, 9-6), the only run for either side over the first five innings. RF Pin-Chieh Chen led off the game with a two-strike double down the right field line. He advanced to third on a CF Zeke DeVoss fly out to center field, and scored on a wild pitch.
With runners on first and second and two outs in the third inning, Chen made a head-first diving catch on a looping line drive to end the inning and preserve the 1-0 lead.
LHP Frank Del Valle inherited a runner on first with no outs in the sixth and retired three batters in-a-row to keep the Jays off the board. Del Valle worked two scoreless innings in total.
Daytona scored five runs on two hits in the sixth inning to extend their 1-0 lead to 6-0. 2B Wes Darvill led off with a walk and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by SS Elliott Soto. After Chen grinded out a walk after falling behind 0-2 in the plate appearance to load the bases, DeVoss drew a nine-pitch walk to double the Cubs lead to 2-0. With one out, the bases still loaded and the infield playing in, DH Dan Vogelbach grounded a ball to second baseman Jon Berti. Berti bobbled the ball and couldn't recover in time to record an out which allowed another run to score. 3B Kris Bryant then laced a ball to left which scored two Cubs and increased Daytona's lead to 5-0. The Cubs plated their final run of the inning on a LF Anthony Giansanti sacrifice fly.
Dunedin used four different pitchers in the sixth inning.
RHP Austin Reed worked a scoreless eighth and RHP Lendy Castillo closed out the game in the ninth. The Blue Jays scored their lone run in the ninth, an unearned run surrendered by Castillo.
Bryant finished 2-for3 with a walk and two RBIs.
With the win, the Cubs have won 12 of their last 13 games and improved to 1-0 in the postseason and 76-51 overall.
Daytona will take on Dunedin on Wednesday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in game two of the series. If the Cubs win, they'll win the FSL North Division Series and play for the FSL Championship. If they lose, the two teams will play game three on Thursday in Dunedin. First pitch on Wednesday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Cubs Note: RHP Pierce Johnson and INF Kris Bryant were named Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for August, respectively, on Monday.