Former QU pitcher earns save in Triple-A Iowa Cubs’ first victory of season

Riley Martin

Former Quincy University pitcher Riley Martin earned the save in the Triple-A Iowa Cubs' 2-0 victory Sunday over the Omaha Storm Chasers. | Submitted photo

OMAHA, Neb. — Riley Martin did exactly what is expected of any late-game reliever.

He put the past behind him.

Saddled with the loss due to unfortunate circumstances in the Iowa Cubs’ season opener Friday night, the former Quincy University All-American left-hander retired the final three batters Sunday to earn the save in a 2-0 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers.

Martin allowed a leadoff double to Omaha’s CJ Anderson but came back to strike out Devin Mann and Cam Devanney swinging. He ended the game by getting Logan Porter to ground out to second base.

Part of the Cubs’ organization since being drafted in the sixth round in 2021, Martin earned a spot in the Triple-A affiliate’s bullpen after spending a majority of the 2023 season with the Double-A Tennessee Smokies.

He pitched in 14 games at Iowa last season, going 1-1 with a 7.30 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12.1 innings. Although he finished the season at Tennessee, the former Great Lakes Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year was targeted to start this season at Triple-A.

When the Cubs opened their season Friday, Martin got the call in extra innings.

Tied at 4 in the bottom of the 11th, Martin entered with a runner on second base per extra-inning rules. The Storm Chasers used a sacrifice bunt to get the potential winning run to third base. Martin then struck out the Storm Chasers’ John Rave.

On a 1-0 fastball to Tyler Tolbert, Iowa catcher Joe Hudson missed the pitch and the winning run scored on the passed ball. It saddled Martin with the loss despite retiring the only two batters he officially faced.

Martin has six saves in his minor league career with 239 strikeouts in 159.1 career innings pitched.

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