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boise hawks featureThe short season Northwest League gets underway tonight. The Cubs affiliate Boise Hawks will be at home to take on Tri-City. Game time is 7:15 PM Mountain Time.

Left hander Tyler Ihrig will start the season opener for the Hawks. Erick Leal follows on Saturday, but beyond that a rotation has not been announced (so far as I know). We do know, however, that Josh Conway and Ryan McNeil, a pair of high ceiling 2012 picks who have been dealing with arm injuries, are scheduled to open the year in the bullpen.

Also joining the roster will be left handed hitting catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber, the 2014 first round pick, joins a pretty interesting group of catchers in Boise that also includes Mark Malave and Justin Marra.

In the outfield, keep an eye Rashad Crawford. The Cubs signed Crawford out of a Georgia high school in the eleventh round in 2012, and this will be his first trip outside of rookie ball. A switch hitter with great speed, Crawford is something of an unknown quantity in the Cubs system. We know he’s really fast and a very good athlete, but so far he hasn’t shown us much else.That could all change starting tonight in Boise.

The Boise Hawks will become a regular part of the minor league coverage here in the Daily starting on Monday.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Iowa struck first but ultimately lost 5-2.
Tennessee - The Smokies let this one slip away and were dealt a 4-2 loss.
Daytona - Daytona lost both halves of the doubleheader. Game One finished up 5-1, and Game Two ended in a a 5-2 final.
Kane County - Kane County knocked off the Cardinals affiliate for a 4-1 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Javier Baez finished 0 for 4, but he did not strike out.
  • [Iowa] Rafael Lopez and Josh Vitters both finished with two hits.
  • [Tennessee] Kris Bryant doubled, walked and struck out. He has now hit safely in seven straight games, but he has also gone homerless in two in a row.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva tripled for the third time and finished with two hits.
  • [Tennessee] Hunter Cervenka recorded 4 outs of relief, all via the strikeout.
  • [Daytona] The Cubs managed just 6 hits between the two games, highlighted by a double from Zeke DeVoss and a triple from Gioskar Amaya. Both of those extra base hits were in Game Two.
  • [Daytona] There was one offensive highlight in Game One. Wes Darvill hit his first homer of the season in the sixth inning to produce the Cubs only run in that game.
  • [Daytona] Jose Rosario pitched an inning and two thirds in Game Two and did so perfectly. He allowed nothing (although one runner reached on an error) and struck out 5.
  • [Kane County] Daniel Lockhart, Shawon Dunston, and Trey Martin all finished with two hits in this one. Martin also stole his 10th base.
  • [Kane County] Carlos Penalver tripled for the second time this season.
  • [Kane County] Juan Paniagua struck out 6 and allowed just 3 hits and a walk in 6 scoreless frames. James Pugliese finished the game by striking out the side.

Other News

  • To make sure you are completely ready for the start of the Boise Hawks season, follow Mike Safford on Twitter. He is the radio voice of the Hawks and provides a great deal of behind the scenes information about the Hawks, their players, and what life in the minor leagues is like. Ever wondered what happens when a bus full of young athletes breaks down on the side of the road in the middle of the night. Then follow Mike Safford. He provided hour by hour coverage when that actually happened a few years ago.
  • And while you’re at it, check out his blog as well. All the good stuff that won’t fit in 140 characters winds up there.

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