|© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Cougars claw way to MWL West crown06/21/2009 7:27 PM ET
By Kira Jones / MLB.com
The Kane County Cougars clinched the Midwest League first-half Western Division title with a decisive 6-0 shutout of the visiting Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Sunday afternoon.
The Cougars (41-29), who hadn't won a division title in five years, secured a playoff berth Saturday.
Shawn Haviland (5-3, 3.66) tossed six solid innings in his sixth quality start of the season. The 23-year-old right-hander gave up three hits and a walk and hit two batters while racking up five strikeouts for the win.
The Cougars bullpen was nearly flawless, allowing one hit, three walks and striking out five over four innings. Kane County has thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings.
Everyone in the starting lineup reached base at least once. Jason Christian, who homered and doubled, was the only Cougar with a multi-hit game.
The Cougars jumped on the board early, scoring four times in the second inning. Grant Desme, Peter Paramore and Dusty Napoleon walked to load the bases and Franklin Hernandez followed with a grand slam to left field.
Paramore also collected an RBI single.
Kane County will have four starters in the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday in Clinton. First baseman Steve Kleen, third baseman Christian, shortstop Dusty Coleman and designated hitter Jeremy Barfield will start in the midsummer classic, while Haviland and fellow righties Jamie Richmond and Kenny Smalley will be in the bullpen.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.