Live From Kane County: Cougars Lose Big

GENEVA, IL - The Peoria Chiefs scored 15 runs - 12 in the fourth inning - on their way to emphatically defeating the Kane County Cougars 15-3 in the first of a four-game series at Elfstrom Stadium Tuesday night.

The Cougars, who actually led early in the game 2-0, had no chance to come back after the 12-run inning in the top of the fourth. Usual pitching ace James Heuser had arguably his worst outing of the year lasting only 3.1 innings while giving up nine hits and six earned runs. Heuser shouldered the loss as his record slipped to 6-4 on the year.

The Cougars jumped ahead in the bottom of the first inning as LF Jermaine Mitchell singled up the middle and scored CF Mike Masarro who had doubled to leadoff the inning.

They added another run in the bottom of the third after Juan Mateo - the Chiefs starting pitcher on the evening - intentionally walked Mitchell to load the bases. With one out, RF Ramiro Mendez grounded into a possible double play at second base. 2B Jonathan Mota threw to SS to Nathan Samson to force out Mitchell at second but had no time to throw out Mendez at first. 3B Alex Valdez - who began the play at third - scored on the play.

Leading 2-0 heading into the top of the fourth, the Cougars fell apart. Heuser leadoff the inning by giving up a double to Alfred Joseph. After fanning Wellington Castillo, Heuser gave up five straight hits including two doubles, one single and a home run by James Adduci, his first on the year.

After Cougars manager Aaron Nieckula pulled Heuser in favor of normal closer Scott Moore, the Chiefs continued to do damage racking up five more hits and six more runs in the inning. The Chiefs recorded 11 hits total in the inning.

The Chiefs would tack on more runs in the eighth inning stringing together a few hits to plate three players. An interesting moment came in the latter part of the inning as usual DH Haas Pratt took the mound for the second time this season and performed well hurling 1.2 innings of scoreless ball while giving up one hit.

Mateo got the victory for the Chiefs improving his record to 1-1 on the season.

Five Chiefs players had three hits or more with Camp and Samson both recording four. Lansford also recorded two hits and was the sixth Chief with a multi-hit game. The team recorded 21 hits total on the day compared to nine from the Cougars.

Valdez led the way with three hits for the Cougars and Masarro had two. The Cougars fell to 3-10 in the second half of the season while the Chiefs improved to 8-5.

The teams will tangle again today in the second game of the series at Elfstrom Stadium. Trevor Cahill (3-3) will start for the Cougars while Jose Pina (2-7) will get the ball from Chiefs manager Ryne Sandberg.

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