No Kidding: Lansford Fires No-No

If the transition from high school to the professional ranks is supposed to be a difficult one, nobody has clued in Kane County starter Jared Lansford. Lansford has allowed only seven hits and three earned runs over his first 17 innings this season. On Sunday, he punctuated his outstanding start by firing the first Kane County no-hitter since 2003.

Jared Lansford, who was drafted out of high school by the Oakland A's last season, made his Kane County and 2006 debut on May 1 in the first game of a double-header. In that game, Lansford flirted with a no-hitter, throwing five hitless innings before allowing two hits in the sixth inning of the scheduled seven inning affair.

Perhaps Lansford likes throwing in double-headers. On Sunday, he made his third start of the season in the opener of the Cougars' double-header against Beloit. Lansford bested his May 1 effort by going the distance in the scheduled seven inning game without allowing a hit. Lansford struggled at times with his control, as he walked five and struck out only two, but he kept the Snappers off-balance enough to complete the no-no.

"The first one, my pitch count was really high for the first five innings. I threw a lot of pitches to too many guys," Lansford told MILB.com after his historic outing. "I'm still on a pitch limit, so I just focused on letting them hit it (today). Luckily, there wasn't too much hard contact."

The lanky right-hander also told MILB.com that he stuck with mostly fastballs and change-ups on Sunday, only occasionally mixing in his breaking pitches. He kept his pitch count low, despite the walks, by inducing a double-play and two caught stealings.

Midwest League hitters have had a tough time squaring up Lansford since he arrived from extended spring training at the start of May. Lansford is holding batters to a .130 batting average and he has yet to allow an extra-base hit. He has also induced 25 groundouts versus 16 fly-ball outs.

Lansford's Kane County teammates gave him all of the run support he would need with a run in the first when Mike Massaro scored on Frank Martinez's sacrifice fly. The Cougars would add on two in the fourth on an Anthony Recker double and their last run in the fifth when Isaac Omura scored from third on an errant throw from the catcher who was trying to nab Massaro stealing second base. Recker and Nick Blasi had two hits a piece in support of Lansford. Recker is now hitting .353 on the season.

The Cougars continued to pitch well in the second game of the double-header, but they dropped a tight contest by a score of 3-2.

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