Midwest League: Six-run inning propels Cougars
By Mike Knapp For Sun-Times Media July 16, 2012 10:10PM
Cougars right-hander Aaron Brooks recently became the first Kane County pitcher to toss a complete game since 2007. | Katherine Peters~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 18, 2012 6:22AM
Tim Ferguson homered and drove in two runs, and the Kane County Cougars used a sixth-run third inning to back the pitching of Aaron Brooks and roll to a 9-5 win over West Michigan Monday night.
The win gave the Cougars two out of three over the Whitecaps as they closed out a six-game homestand with a 4-2 record. With a 14-10 record, the Cougars are in first place in the Western Division by a single game over Clinton, Quad Cities and Burlington.
Coming into the game averaging just three runs a contest during the homestand, the Cougars doubled that total in the third as Ferguson’s third homer of the year started a frame that saw the Cougars send 10 men to the plate.
Alex Llanos also added an RBI, Mike Antonio plated two with a double and Ferguson capped the scoring with his second hit of the inning, a single that sent Antonio home. Antonio’s two RBI gave him 50 on the season, making him the second Cougar to reach that plateau this season. Jorge Bonifacio, who was rested for the second straight day, leads the team with 52.
The Cougars then made it a 9-1 game with three more runs in the fourth. With Yowill Espinal and Llanos on the bases, Danny Mateo lined a single to center that Chad Wright overran and the ball rolled all the way to the wall. Espinal and Llanos both scored and Mateo rounded the bases and scored on the three-base error.
That was more than enough for Brooks (7-9), who won for the third straight start and continued his stellar pitching in the month of July. The right-hander, who had just one win in the months of May and June combined, improved to 3-0 this month after a night that saw him allow three runs on six hits in six innings of work.
It was Brooks’ third straight quality start and team-leading eighth of the season. He has a 2.25 ERA this month, allowing five earned runs in 20 innings.
Following an off-day Tuesday, the Cougars will head to the road for three games at Bowling Green followed by three more in Dayton. At 1,030 total miles, this will be the longest trip of the season in terms of distance traveled.
Kellen Moen (3-6) will make the start for the Cougars on Wednesday night.