Kane County Notebook: A Winning Month

House's on-base streak continues on.

It took until the third month of the season, but the Kane County Cougars finally hit their stride and put together a winning month. David Malamut wraps up the month of June and reviews the Cougars' week of June 28.

Last week the Kane Cougars went 3-4. They lost two out of three from Clinton. Then they took two out of three from Peoria, and lost to Beloit on Sunday. That put them at 4-6 for the second half. Overall the Cougars were 36-43 as of Sunday night.

Cougars By The Numbers

As of Sunday, Tyreace House had a streak of reaching base safely in 32 consecutive games. Rashun Dixon has reached base safely in 27 straight road games dating back to late April.

House is fifth in the league in on base percentage with a .406 mark. Conner Crumbliss still leads the league in walks with 67. Max Stassi is third in the league in strikeouts with 91. Justin Marks is fourth in the league in strikeouts with 87 and is leading the league with 10 losses. Robert Gilliam is third in the league in innings pitched with 91.1. Ian Krol is second in the league in fewest walks and hits to innings pitched with 0.92 and is fourth in the league in opponents batting average at .204.

Crumbliss is second in all of minor league baseball in walks, eight behind Kila Ka'aihue. Anthony Aliotti is tied for eighth in the minors with 55.

June was the first month that the Cougars played better than .500 this year, as they were 12-11. They also hit 23 points higher than in May at .259 and scored 1.3 more runs per game. The weird thing is their ERA was .36 higher than in May.

Week In Review

The week started out well enough in Clinton as the Cougars would win 7-3 against the Lumberkings on Monday. Crumbliss had three hits and scored three times. House reached base three times, with a single and two walks. Aliotti and Dixon both had two hits. Murphy Smith had another good outing as he went six innings and gave up two runs. His only problems came in the fifth inning in which he gave up both of his runs.

In the second game, the Cougars would get 12 hits but would only score one run. They left 12 men on base, five of those base-runners coming via walks. They would go 1-9 with runners in scoring position. Justin Marks went into the sixth and really didn't do that bad of a job. Yes his line was seven hits and four runs, but three of those runs and four of the hits were in the sixth inning. Through five inning he gave up three hits and one run. Josh Lansford did not have a good outing, as he lasted two thirds of an inning and gave up two hits and four runs.

The last game of the series would really come down to the Cougars giving up three runs in the sixth inning. They would only get four hits and two runs. Gilliam started and like most of the other starters recently only had one bad inning, the sixth. In that inning he would give up three runs on four hits. Besides that he was good, giving up four hits and one run in five innings.

Next up Peoria would come to town. In the first game the Cougars would lose 4-2. They would score both of their runs in the first three innings and Peoria scored mostly in the last three. Daniel Straily started and pitched well, going into the seventh giving up four hits and three runs. He walked four though, one intentionally. One of the runs was a Stassi homer in the third, the other a Crumbliss single up the middle in the second to drive in Leonardo Gil.

Krol continued to dominate opponents. He would give up one run on five hits in six innings in the second game of the series. The one run was after an errant pick-off throw and a single to center. Jose Guzman and Jose Pina did a nice job in relief. Michael Gilmartin would homer in the seventh and Aliotti doubled home House and Crumbliss scored on a fielder's choice in the third.

Having to score four runs in the eighth inning to come away with a 9-5 win wasn't easy to watch. The game would be even throughout as the score kept getting tied. Smith started and lasted into the sixth, giving up four earned runs. Max Peterson did a great job of closing out the game with two perfect innings. House hit his first professional homerun. He also reached base four times with two doubles and a walk. Aliotti also hit a homer and had a single and a walk. In the eighth inning, the Cougars would get four doubles by Myrio Richard, Kent Walton, Gil and House to score three runs. The fourth run came on a squeeze play that Crumbliss would get down the bunt to get House home.

The Cougars continued their homestand and the Beloit Snappers came to town. The Cougars would try again to win the game in the eighth and come up two runs short in a 6-4 loss. Marks started and lasted six. He had one bad inning in which he gave up two runs. Lansford struggled in an inning, giving up four hits and two runs. Bo Schultz gave up a two-run homer in the eighth. The Cougars scored one in the sixth when Walton doubled home Crumbliss. In the eighth, they would get three more runs. Gilmartin and Gil both drew bases loaded walks. Jason Christian then hit a sacrifice fly.

Quote from the Bench

"Kane County so far this season so far so good. It's a young ballclub, very talented. It's great to get these guys feet wet in pro baseball. Ian Krol, Max Stassi, obviously they are young and talented, along with the rest of the crew it's been a good beginning," Billy Owens, Oakland A's Director of Player Personnel, said.

Coming Up

The Cougars continue their series at home against the Beloit Snappers (Minnesota) and the series goes through Tuesday. On Wednesday they play the Peoria Chiefs (Chicago Cubs) at Wrigley Field, and then they go to Peoria for two days to continue the series. The Cougars come home on Saturday for a nine-game homestand, leading it off with three against the Clinton Lumberkings (Seattle).

About the Author

David Malamut has been covering the Cougars since 1998, with his own website, (http://malamut.net). He has also written a book about the Cougars, "Baseball In Kane County Cougars" (Arcadia/2005). For daily updates on the Cougars, go to his website (http://malamut.net) or follow him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/davidmalamut) for in game news and notes.

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