Despite being no-hit by South Bend Cubs RHP Erick Leal for nine innings and managing only four baserunners in 12 frames, the Kane County Cougars emerged victorious from Tuesday’s game at Four Winds Field.
Leal dominated the Cougars, allowing only a walk in the 5th inning. He threw 86 pitches in what was the first nine-inning outing of his professional career. He had to settle for a no-decision when the Cubs failed to push across what would’ve been the winning run from second base in the bottom of the 9th inning.
After Kane County’s Marty Herum broke up the no-hitter with two outs in the top half of the 10th (off reliever Corbin Hoffner), South Bend loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom half, but again failed to score.
The Cougars broke through in the top of the 12th when Victor Reyes drew a leadoff walk, moved over on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ildemaro Vargas. That turned out to be the game’s only run.
Cubs leadoff hitter Jeffrey Baez went 3-for-6 with two doubles. He played 31 games with the Cougars last year when Kane County was Chicago’s Midwest League affiliate.
Leal is 7-7 with a 4.12 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 27 walks in 102.2 innings (18 starts) this season.