METAIRIE – The New Orleans Baby Cakes built a 6-0 lead through four innings on Thursday night en route to a 7-3 win over the Iowa Cubs.
Matt Juengel’s two-run double in the second inning marked just the fourth time in 15 games the Baby Cakes scored first, and ignited an early six-run onslaught.
New Orleans sent eight batters to the plate in the third against Cubs starter Williams Perez (0-2), scoring three times. Destin Hood lifted a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded, and Moises Sierra singled past first baseman Taylor Davis to plate two more.
The ‘Cakes capitalized on a pair of Iowa errors in the fourth to extend the lead to 6-0 before the Cubs clawed back into the game.
A run-scoring grounder by Bijan Rademacher in the fifth got Iowa on the board, and ‘Cakes starter Odrisamer Despaigne was removed after walking John Andreoli to put two runners on with two outs. Raudel Lazo induced an inning-ending grounder, but ran into trouble himself an inning later.
With one out in the sixth, four straight Cubs batters reached, including RBI doubles by Victor Caratini and Taylor Davis, but Lazo was able to retire pinch hitter Stephen Bruno to preserve a 6-3 advantage.
New Orleans strung together three singles in the seventh, capped by Peter Mooney’s two-out liner up the middle, to tack on an insurance tally.
Calyton Mortensen, Brian Ellington and Nick Wittgren combined to strike out seven Cubs over the final three innings, including six in a row at one point, as Mortensen (1-0) was credited with the victory.
Perez was charged with six runs – five earned – on seven hits in four innings to suffer the loss.
The Baby Cakes go for their first series win of the season in Friday’s finale against Iowa. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.