As one of the few eleven-year-olds in Majors, Cole Harper has quietly contributed a stellar season largely in the shadows of his twelve-year-old teammates, but on Monday night when his teammates needed him most Cole put the team on his back and carried the Diamondbacks to a much-needed, 13-11 playoff win over the Cubs!
Cole reached base all four times at bat and scored three runs to help the visiting Diamondbacks take what seemed a commanding 13-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but then the roof caved in. The Cubs strung together a series of seeing-eye singles punctuated emphatically by a couple of massive hits from Mateo Mackiewicz and Nic Brae. Suddenly seven runs had scored, two pitchers had been chased, and the Cubs bench and fans were at full volume sensing a comeback win. Into the teeth of this storm strode Cole Harper, who took the mound and calmly coaxed three outs out of the Cubs 1-2-3 hitters and saved the victory for a relieved Diamondbacks squad.
For the Diamondbacks, Donovan Capozzola contributed two difficult and crucial defensive plays at first base and Telmo Corral turned in a brilliant starting pitching performance, allowing only one run in 3 and 1/3 innings on just 41 pitches. The Cubs' John Duffy also looked good on the mound, with an effective eighty-five pitch middle-relief stint that kept the game in reach for the Cubs after a fast Diamondbacks start.
Both teams enjoyed strong efforts from call-ups. Franco Correa and Jake Dox played for the Cubs while the Diamondbacks had Wesley Wang and Sullivan Townley, as well as Ian Malishka, who played well on defense and scored a run for the Diamondbacks in his call-up debut.
The Diamondbacks advance to play the Dodgers on May 23, with a spot in the Championship Game on Closing Day on the line, while the losing team will play the Cubs on May 29.