GENEVA – Cougars starting pitcher Tayler Scott refused to place the blame of his rough outing on anyone but himself.
No one would have blamed the 2012 fifth-round pick if he had. A 50-minute rain delay preceded Scott’s second start of the year and the weather didn’t get much better after that. A stiff wind and constant blowing rain made life tough on the South African-born right-hander, who took the loss Wednesday as Kane County dropped the final game of the series against Clinton, 10-4.
“It’s just one of those days that you have to fight [the weather] and adjust the best you can,” Scott said. “I was trying to keep warm as best I could and move around a lot in between innings.”
Scott, a fifth-round draft choice by the Cubs in 2012, was solid in his first outing of the year, earning a no-decision in five innings against Quad Cities.
The main contrast in Scott’s first start was the walks – there were none. On Wednesday, Scott was unable to locate his two-seam fastball, running into trouble in the third.
After giving up a two-run single to Tyler Marlette in the second, Scott walked the first three batters in the third to force Kane County manager Mark Johnson’s hand.
Scott was struck on his throwing elbow in the first on a one-hopper off the bat of Dario Pizzano.
Coupled with the cold, it made for a tough day for the young pitcher.
“It could be a number of different things. He hasn’t pitched in the cold weather a lot – and I’m not making excuses for him,” Johnson said. “He got hit with that ball in his elbow. That’s just more of a muscular thing. He’s fine.”
Cougars reliever Nathan Dorris struck out Jabari Harris looking before Taylor Ard knocked in two runs that gave the LumberKings a 4-0 lead.
Dorris held Clinton at bay after taking over for Scott in the third. After giving up the RBI hit to Ard, Dorris held the LumberKings hitless over the next four innings, which allowed the Cougars to come back.
Dan Vogelbach got the Cougars on the board in the fifth with a sacrifice fly that scored Wes Darvill, who tripled.
An inning later, Trey Martin, who came in hitting .077, hit a double down the left-field line to score Chadd Krist and Bijan Rademacher to cut Clinton’s lead to 4-3.
That was as close as Kane County would get, though, as Clinton batted around in the seventh off Cougars reliever Stephen Perakslis.
Kane County left 11 runners on base while walking 10 Clinton hitters in the loss.
Despite the loss, Johnson was upbeat about how his team fought back in tough conditions.
“I thought we had a chance there when we got within one but we gave it right back,” Johnson said. “On a day like this when it’s cold, you fight back and all of a sudden you give them a couple of runs back, it’s kind of hard to bounce back.”
Vogelbach and Rock Shoulders continued their hot starts at the plate. Vogelbach went 1 for 3 with a walk and RBI while Shoulders added a pair of hits, but saw his average drop to .467.
Clinton starter Scott DeCecco picked up the win, working five innings and allowing just five hits and one run.