Kane County Notebook: Cougars In First

The first-place Kane County Cougars kept on rolling this week, going 5-2 in seven games. David Malamut has a report on the team.

This week the Kane County Cougars went 5-2. In one of the games they lost they looked pathetic, but in most of the games the whole team looked good.

The week started out well with the Cougars winning the series against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers) with a 6-4 victory. Steve Kleen hit his fifth homer of the year. Jason Christian and Grant Desme both had two hits. Kleen had three runs batted in. Trey Barham pitched two innings of shutout ball with three strikeouts. Mickey Storey got his third save.

After the series at home, the Cougars started a 10-game, 11-day road trip. The first leg of the trip was in Midland, Michigan, home of the Great Lakes Loons. In the first game, the Cougars would win 8-4. A six-run inning really helped. Dusty Coleman hit his seventh homer of the year. Grant Desme had two more hits. Petey Paramore drove in three runs, and Coleman and Jeremy Barfield both had two runs batted in. Shawn Haviland had another solid outing, as he went into the sixth inning, giving up five hits and two runs. He would walk one and strike out six. Justin Murray pitched an inning of perfect ball. Jamie Richmond pitched two and two thirds innings, he gave up two hits and two runs.

On Wednesday, the Cougars would lose a 1-0 game, and would manage only five hits. Kleen had two hits, and Franklin Hernandez had two walks. Pedro Figueroa started for the Cougars and went five innings, giving up five hits and only one run. Jason Ray and Scott Deal pitched a combined three innings and Deal gave up a hit.

The Cougars would win two out of three against the Loons. Next up would be the rival Beloit Snappers for three games.

The first game on Friday, the Cougars really didn't show up to put it honestly. The would lose 15-2. Brett Hunter had a rough outing. He lasted an inning giving up two hits and eight runs. Six of those runs were earned. His biggest problem was his command. He walked the first three Snappers in the game. Matt Fitts then came in and really wasn't much better if any. He went two and a third innings, giving up six hits and four runs. He walked two and gave up two homers. Jamie Richmond also had a rough outing, he went two and two thirds innings, giving up eight hits, three runs and four strikeouts.

Mike Hart did a nice job and position player Dusty Napoleon did a great job pitching an inning, giving up a hit. Carlos Arrieche had two hits and Jeremy Barfield had four hits, including one double. Arrieche and Barfield also drove in the only runs of the game.

After that horror story, the Cougars would come back and win the second game of the series on Saturday, 5-2. Dusty Coleman had three hits. Steve Kleen, Franklin Hernandez, Jeremy Barfield and Carlos Arrieche all had two hits. Hernandez had two doubles. Anthony Capra had a good start lasting six innings, and giving up five hits and two runs. Capra struck out seven and walked one. Jason Ray and Justin Murray combined for three scoreless innings.

The Cougars would finish off the series with another win on Sunday, this time by a score of 11-4. Franklin Hernandez had two homers and Grant Desme also hit a homer. Hernandez and Jeremy Barfield both had three hits and Barfield had two doubles, while Hernandez had five runs batted in. Matt Ray and Desme both had two hits. Kleen and Christian both had sacrifice flies. Haviland had another great outing. He pitched six innings, giving up five hits and three runs. He did walk four and gave up two solo homers. Scott Deal got the save, three innings with two hits and a run. He struck out four and gave up a homer.

Next Week

The Cougars play the Clinton Lumberkings (Seattle), Tuesday-Friday and then they come home to face the Peoria Chiefs (Cubs) Saturday-Sunday.

Notes

- Brett Hunter is really having trouble with his motion. He can't seem to get the same release point, and seems to be getting really frustrated.

- Jeremy Barfield has four straight multi-hit games and is 12-for-his-last-18 with four doubles. Overall, he is batting .343 wtih four homers, a .403 OBP and a 931 OPS.

- Dusty Coleman is batting .290 with eight homers and a 933 OPS. He hit .271 with six homers during the month of May.

- Franklin Hernandez had an 810 OPS during the month of May after posting a 701 OPS in April.

- Shawn Haviland has 51 strike-outs in 58.1 innings and a 2.78 ERA for the season. He is 10th in the Midwest League in ERA.

- Jason Ray has allowed two runs in 5.2 innings since joining the Cougars in mid-May. He has six strike-outs and no walks. Ray had been out with arm problems since May 2007.

About the writer

David Malamut has been a season ticket holder of the Cougars for the past 13 years. He has also been writing a daily website about the team for that long at http://malamut.net. David wrote a book about the history of the Cougars in 2005. Baseball In Kane County, Arcadia Publishing. For daily updates on the Cougars, stats and game stories please go to David's website, Voice of A Season Ticket Holder, http://malamut.net.

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