I finally got to see Chicago Cubs prospect Albert Almora in action Thursday, and he didn’t disappoint.
In fact, the Kane County Cougars as a whole looked good offensively that day; it was their defense and starting pitching that didn’t impress. Still, they came away with an 8-7 victory over the Beloit Snappers in 10 innings, snapping a six-game skid by winning their first game of the second half.
In the first half of the game, it looked like it would be a dominant game for the Snappers, who led 6-0 in the 4th inning and 7-1 in the 5th inning. Cougars SP Tayler Scott didn’t fare well, giving up seven runs (four earned) on six hits, three walks and two wild pitches in 4 IP. His counterpart, Snappers SP Derek DeYoung, gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in 5 IP.
(Side note: You may recall me wondering whether Derek DeYoung is related to Dennis DeYoung of the rock band Styx. Cougars play-by-play announcer Wayne Randazzo tweeted during Thursday’s game that the two DeYoungs are NOT related.)
Kane County cut Beloit’s lead to 7-6 by posting a four-spot on the board in the bottom of the 7th inning. The big blow came off the bat of Rock Shoulders, who hit a 3-run homer that cleared the Leinie Lodge (the picnic deck in right field). I don’t know how far it traveled, but it was a monster shot.
Albert Almora also drove in a run in that frame, plating Oliver Zapata, who had tripled. Almora, Zapata and Marco Hernandez each had 3 hits for the Cougars. Almora drove in two runs. Zapata stole a base.
Here are photos of Almora and Zapata connecting with pitches:
Zapata scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. He reached base on a bunt single and advanced all the way to third base on consecutive throwing errors, all on the same play. He then scored on a wild pitch.
Cougars RP Jeffry Antigua got the win after pitching three scoreless innings. He gave up only one hit and one walk while striking out three batters. Cougars RP Sheldon McDonald also threw three scoreless innings, giving up three hits and no walks while striking out three.
Cougars RF Bijan Rademacher and Snappers C Ryan Delgado were the only players who didn’t get a hit. They both went 0-for-5. Today Rademacher was promoted to the High-A Daytona Cubs after hitting .303 with 2 HR, 18 RBI and 5 SB in 55 games with the Cougars.
Pounders pitches no-hitter for Naturals
While I was at the Cougars game, a former Kane County pitcher threw a no-hitter in Double-A.
Northwest Arkansas Naturals RHP Brooks Pounders pitched the first complete-game no-hitter in the team’s history. Only two batters reached base — one on an error and one on a hit-by-pitch. The Kansas City Royals prospect threw 70 of his 98 pitches for strikes.
Pounders started the 2012 season with the Kane County Cougars, going 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 50.2 IP. He spent the rest of the season with the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the High-A Carolina League.