Minor League Notebook: Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars continue to play at a high level, led by a solid starting pitching staff. However, their offense could be in for a rough patch, as the Cougars lost one of their top performers to the DL. Read who's on the shelf and more in this edition of the Kane County Cougars' Minor League Notebook.

Justin Crowder wins first game since recovering from shoulder surgery

July 14, 2004 -The Kane County Cougars won another tight game, as they topped the Quad City Swing 3-2. The Cougars plated the winning run in the top of the eighth inning, allowing the A's 2002 11th round pick to win his first game in well over a year. Justin Crowder, who missed all of last season after left shoulder surgery, picked up the win after coming on in the bottom of the seventh inning and striking out the only batter he faced.

Crowder, who played his college baseball at TCU and Rice University, has struggled in limited appearances thus far this season, compiling an ERA over 8.00. However, he has struck out 14 batters in only 10 innings, while walking only three batters, so better results may be around the corner for the lefthanded reliever.

Reliever Dan Fyvie, who has done some of the closing for the Cougars since the promotion of uber-closer Jairo Garcia to Midland, retired the final six batters to notch his second save of the season. Thirdbaseman Brian Snyder drove in Brian Ingram with a two-out single to plate the Cougars first run and Dustin Majewski homered for the 9th time this season to give KC their second run. The winning run was scored by former first-round draft pick Chris Tritle, who had reached on an error and scored on a Luke Appert single. Trent Peterson pitched five strong innings, allowing one unearned run, striking out five and allowing only four hits. Petereson has a 51/14 K:BB ratio so far this season. The Cougars upped their record to 54-22.

Notes

The Cougars' victory raised their record to 22 games over the .500 mark for the first time this season. They already clinched the division title for the first half of the season.

Third baseman Brian Snyder was placed on the DL after Wednesday night's game with a strained right hip flexor. The injury comes at an unfortunate time for Snyder, who is quietly putting together an excellent season. He was named Midwest League Player of the Week for the week of June 24-27 and he has compiled a .313 batting average, with a .434 OBP, good for second in the Midwest League. Snyder is also in the top ten in batting average, hits (4th, 97), slugging percentage (7th, .481) and RBIs (9th, 54). Snyder was the A's 2003 first-round pick out of Stetson University.

Brad Knox continues to earn favorable comparisons to fellow Central Arizona Junior College alumnus Rich Harden with his domination of Single A hitters. Knox was named Midwest League Pitcher of the Week, which he earned after posting a 2-0 record with a perfect 0.00 ERA. He allowed only one unearned run and eight hits over 13 innings and held hitters to a meager .167 BAA. Knox struck out 13 in that many innings with only two walks. who was the most impressive hurler in the league this past week. The 22-year old is 10-3 on the season with a 1.97 ERA and 117 strikeouts against only 15 walks in 105 IP. Knox was a 14th round pick in 2002 and spent last season in Vancouver.

A's 2004 draft choice Jarod McAullif has appeared three time for Kane County. McAuliff is currently the only A's 2004 draft pick on the Kane County team. He has gone 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 4.1 IP.

Kane County starter Chris Dunwell picked up his 9th win this week against only three losses. The A's 15th round pick in 2002 has a 3.70 ERA so far this season with a 95:17 K:BB ratio in 104.2 IP.

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