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 Sugar Land Space Cowboys

Blubaugh Dominant in Another Close Game with Express

April 17, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Sugar Land Space Cowboys News Release

SUGAR LAND, TX - Thanks to a timely hit by Shay Whitcomb and a marvelous pitching performance by RHP AJ Blubaugh (W, 2-0), the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (12-5) defeated the Round Rock Express (7-10) 2-1 on Wednesday night at Constellation Field in their second-straight one-run game.

Derek Hill got Round Rock on the board with a lead-off home run on the first pitch Blubaugh threw. The righty responded by retiring the next 10 batters in a row, including five via strikeout, turning in 1-2-3 innings in the second and third.

Sugar Land found some luck against Round Rock's starter RHP Gerson Garabito (L, 0-1) in the bottom of the third, when Jesús Bastidas was hit by a pitch and Pedro León singled into centerfield. Bastidas and León would pull off a double steal to move to second and third for Whitcomb, who knocked both in on a line drive to center, making it 2-1 Space Cowboys.

Blubaugh pitched 6.1 innings of one-run ball with no walks and eight strikeouts, a season high amongst all Sugar Land pitchers. He generated 15 swings-and-misses and threw 83 pitches, 55 for strikes.

After Blubaugh was removed with one out in the top of the seventh following a single, LHP Bryan King (H, 3) allowed a single and a walk as the Express threatened to impact the score. He proceeded to get two huge strikeouts of Jonathan Ornelas and Jax Biggers to keep the lead intact. RHP Ray Gaither (H, 2) pitched a 1-2-3 scoreless inning in the eighth. In the top of the ninth, RHP Wander Suero (S, 2) loaded the diamond full of Express baserunners with only one out, but was able to retire the next two batters, most notably the third out, Andrew Knapp's strikeout, to give the Space Cowboys their 12th win of the season.

León had four of the six Space Cowboys hits, his second four-hit game of the season and his fifth multi-hit game. Bastidas was hit by a pitch in two of his four at bats, and Whitcomb drove both runs Sugar Land scored.

The Space Cowboys play their third game of a six-game series against the Round Rock Express Thursday night. RHP Rhett Kouba (1-1, 2.45) is set to take the mound for a 6:35 pm CT first pitch. Round Rock's starter is TBD. The game can be heard on ESPN 92.5 FM or online here and seen on MiLB.TV, MLB.TV or Bally Live.

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