Kane County Notebook: Hitting Silent

After an 0-6 week, the Kane County Cougars recovered to win three games this past week. But the Cougars' bats are in a deep slumber. David Malamut delivers a report.

The Kane County Cougars did have a better week this week than they did last week. Anything is better than 0-6. This week the Cougars went 3-4. Kane County's batting average has fallen to .244, after being in the .260s for most of the year. The team ERA is still pretty good at 3.60, but the team just has forgotten how to hit lately.

Kenneth Smalley is pacing the Cougars' pitching staff. He is still leading the league in earned run average with a 2.06 mark. He also has eight wins in 23 games. Smalley has pitched 100 innings, giving up only 70 hits and three homers. In those 100 innings, he has struck-out 103 and walked 40.

The Cougars started off the week on a good note, with a win in the series finale, 3-2. Smalley pitched well, as he went five innings, giving up six hits and one unearned run. He walked three hitters, and allowed a runner in each inning, but would strand two runners on third. The one run allowed in the game for Smalley came on an error by Jeremy Barfield. The other run came in the ninth inning via a homerun by Josh Fellhauer off of Justin Murray. Michael Spina hit a two-run homer in the third inning. The other run was a game winning single in the ninth by Leonardo Gil to score Barfield.

The started the road trip from hell: Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Lansing, Michigan to Appleton, Wisconsin. In the first game in Cedar Rapids, the Cougars would win, 5-4. Michael Spina would drive home Dusty Coleman and Franklin Hernandez would score Stephen Parker in the first. Chris Berroa would then single home Hernandez in the fourth, Petey Paramore would single home Coleman, and Barfield would hit a sacrifice fly to score Parker in the fifth. Anvioris Ramirez would pitch into the sixth inning, giving up nine hits and four runs. Only two of those were earned, as an error by Spina in the sixth would make the runs in that inning unearned. A.J. Huttenlocker pitched two and one thirds innings of scoreless baseball.

The Cougars would get shutout in the second game of the series against the Kernels, 4-0. Buddy Boshers pitched seven innings and gave up three hits for the Kernels. The Cougars would manage only five hits in the game and Spina had three of the hits.

In the series finale, the Cougars would lose, 4-1. The only run came in the ninth on a Spina homerun. The Cougars struck out 10 times and walked four times. Shawn Haviland pitched well. He went seven inning, giving up four hits and four runs, and all but one of the hits and all of the runs came in the third inning. Without that inning, he went six innings, giving up one hit.

The Cougars really only good game of the week came in the first game in Lansing on Friday. They would win 12-4 and mashed out 13 hits. Gil drove in three runs and had three hits. Coleman had a triple and Parker drove in five runs and added a triple of his own. Barfield had two hits. The bottom of the order went 2-10, and both of the hits were by Dusty Napoleon, but the bottom of the order would walk four times and score five of the runs. Napoleon drove in three. Murphy Smith pitched four innings, but he was limited due to his last start being shortened when he was hit by a liner on his arm. He gave up one hit and one run.

The nightmares began again during the last two games of the Lansing series. The Cougars would lose 8-3, and they would leave eight runners on-base, four of them at third. Three times they would have leadoff hits, and that runner would not score in the inning. Carlos Arrieche drove home Franklin Hernandez in the fourth. Barfield drove home Parker and Barfield would score on an error in the eighth. Smalley had an off night. He went into the fifth inning, giving up three hits and three runs. He struck out six and walked three. Matt Fitts pitched and inning and gave up six hits and four runs.

The Cougars would get one-hit in the finale of the Lansing series on Sunday. Barfield got the single in the eighth to prevent no-hitter. Ramirez went six innings, giving up eight hits and three runs. Joel Carreno of the Lugnuts went into the eighth inning giving up just the one hit, one walk and nine strike-outs.

Coming Up Next

Next week, the Cougars will continue their road trip to Appleton, Wisconsin to see the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee). Then they finally come home to play the Clinton Lumberkings (Seattle) for four games. Then on Wednesday it's the Quad City River Bandits (St. Louis) who come into town for four games. After that, the Cougars head back on the road for eight games in nine days.

Roster Movement

This week the Cougars would make some more roster moves. Tyler Ladendorf became a Cougar, after he was part of the Orlando Cabrera trad with Minnesota. He was playing in Beloit who was in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on the trade deadline day. He drove from Fort Wayne to Lansing and came in for Coleman and hit an RBI double in his Cougar debut. Coleman was promoted to Stockton when Ladendorf arrived.

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. You can also follow the Cougars on my twitter page, http://twitter.com/davidmalamut. Or follow my blog http://davidmalamut.blogspot.com.

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