Midwest League: Cougars sluggish in loss to Beloit
By Mike Knapp For Sun-Times Media June 25, 2012 10:26PM
Updated: June 25, 2012 11:09PM
A case of the Mondays can strike anytime, anywhere.
It certainly did at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark as the Kane County Cougars met Beloit to open a three-game set. Contrary to what the scoreboard might have read — a 4-2 win by the Snappers — it was a game that for some reason was devoid of energy or excitement.
The Cougars scored two runs in the bottom of the first on a Miguel Sano error and a sacrifice fly by Michael Antonio, then didn’t score the rest of the night. Beloit took the lead for good with two runs in the fourth off Cougars starter Aaron Brooks (4-8), and the teams later combined for just one hit over the last four innings of the game.
“It was just one of those games, a ho-hum game,” said Cougars manager Buck Buchanan. “We didn’t swing the bats that great.”
The Cougars had just five hits, but even more glaring was the 0-for-10 performance with runners in scoring position. They put runners on base in every inning, but getting them around and in was a problem.
The best chance the Cougars had for a rally came in the bottom of the eighth when they put two on with two out. In one of the stranger moments of the night, Julio Aparicio struck out to apparently end the inning, but Beloit catcher Matthew Koch rolled the ball to the mound instead of throwing Aparicio out at first, which loaded the bases. Despite having a second chance to keep the rally going, Kenny Swab struck out swinging to end the threat.
The Cougars struck out nine times, but many of them seemed to come at inopportune times.
“They have a pretty good staff over there,” Buchanan said. “They brought in those relievers and they have great numbers, and good pitching will beat good hitting every day of the week.”
After winning two of three in Clinton to start the second half, the loss dropped the Cougars to 2-2. Beloit has certainly had the Cougars’ number this season, winning six of the eight contests at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark and sporting a 10-5 record against Kane County overall.
“We just can’t seem to get over the hump,” Buchanan said. “It would be nice to beat them a couple of times. They have a good team, they have good pitching and get a lot of key hits when they need them.”
Kellen Moen (3-3) will try to get the Cougars back on the winning track when he takes the mound against Matt Summers (6-4) Tuesday in a game slated to start at 6:30 p.m.