Kane County’s Connor Grey pitched the first perfect game in Cougars franchise history Friday, using 100 pitches to completely shut down the LumberKings for nine innings in Clinton’s last home game of the season.
It is the first Midwest League perfect game since Chris Coughlin threw one for the Burlington Bees on June 30, 2004. It also is the first perfect game ever pitched by an Arizona Diamondbacks minor-leaguer.
Grey struck out eight batters. Through seven starts for the Cougars, he is 3-1 with a 2.11 ERA, two complete games, 39 strikeouts and one walk in 47 innings. He has pitched at four different levels of the minors this season, cumulatively going 9-4 with a 2.87 ERA, 91 strikeouts and nine walks in 103.1 innings (18 games/17 starts).
Grey never pitched without a lead in the game because the Cougars scored all five of their runs in the top of the 1st inning. Stephen Smith hit a bases-loaded triple. Jose Herrera and Adam Walton each had three hits and an RBI.
Whitecaps pitch 27th shutout
The West Michigan Whitecaps beat the South Bend Cubs 4-0 to record their 27th shutout of the season, four more than the previous Midwest League record of 23 set by the 1974 Quad City Angels.
Left-hander Eudis Idrogo got the win after scattering three hits and three walks while striking out two in 5.2 innings. He improved to 7-7 with a 3.01 ERA, one complete game, 100 strikeouts and 28 walks in 134.2 innings (23 starts) for the Whitecaps this season.
The game was South Bend’s home finale, drawing 6,551 fans to the stands. That set a new franchise attendance record for the team, who saw 354,070 fans pass through the turnstiles this season. The previous South Bend attendance record of 350,803 was set last year.
Playoff berth showdown
The Bowling Green Hot Rods have a two-game lead over South Bend in the race for the last unclaimed playoff berth, with three games left in the season. The two teams start a three-game set against each other at Bowling Green Ballpark on Saturday. One win will clinch the berth for the Hot Rods; the Cubs need to sweep the series to advance to the postseason.