The Great Lakes Loons (8-17) pulled even (1-1) in the second game of a 3-game home series with a low-scoring, 1-0 victory in a pitchers duel over the Kane County (IL.) Cougars (Arizona Diamondbacks) at Dow Diamond tonight.
Loons right fielder Carlos Rincon sparked an early rally with a 1-out double off Kane County starter Jeff Bain (a sixteenth round pick of the Diamondbacks out of the University of Arizona in the 2017 MLB draft) before he was driven in on an RBI-single off the bat of Loons second baseman Marcus Chiu for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, which would turn out to be the difference in the game.
Bain (1-1, 2.22 ERA) was tagged with his first loss of the season for the Cougars despite an impressive start, after giving up 1-run on 3-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 7-batters through 6-innings tonight, while Kane County reliever Erbert Gonzalez (6.39 ERA) allowed a hit and a walk, with 2-strikeouts throughout the final 2-innings.
Loons starter Jesus Vargas (4-0, 1.57 ERA) was equally impressive, earning the shutout victory, while improving to 4-0 on the the season after allowing just 3-hits and a walk, with 4-strikeouts through 5-scoreless innings.
Great Lakes reliever Zach Pop (H3, 2.92 ERA) collected his third hold of the year, allowing just a hit and 2-walks, with 3-strikeouts through 1 1/3 scoreless innings, while closer Dan Jagiello (S1, 2.93 ERA) picked up his first save of the year after allowing just 1-hit, while striking out 6-batters through the final 2 1/3 innings.
Chiu finished 2 for 2 with a walk, along with the game winning RBI to lead the Great Lakes offense, while Loons third baseman Brandon Montgomery, Rincon, and catcher Garrett Hope would account for the other 3-Great Lakes hits.
The Loons and Cougars will wrap up the series with the rubber-match game at 2:05 pm at Dow Diamond tomorrow afternoon.