Cougars Throw 10th No-Hitter in Franchise History
Peoria, Illinois -Bryan Valdez, Andy Toelken and Blake Workman combined to no-hit the Quad Cities River Bandits (7-7) in a 1-0 Kane County Cougars (10-6) win on Friday night at Dozer Park. It was the 10th no-no in franchise history and the first since Connor Grey's perfect game in September of 2017.
Bryan Valdez began the year on the injured list. He returned Friday night to make his first start of the season. In four innings, he was perfect. The left-hander missed the zone just six times, throwing 29 of his 35 pitches for strikes. Valdez struck out four batters and induced six ground ball outs.
The Cougars turned to Andy Toelken in the fifth inning. Toelken retired the 4-5-6 batters in order in his first inning and repeated the feat against the bottom of the lineup in the sixth.
Alex King provided the only offense of the night in the top of the seventh. After Eduardo Diaz coaxed a one-out walk, King came to the plate two batters later and doubled to center to drive Diaz to the plate and give the Cougars a 1-0 edge.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Enmanuel Valdez became the first River Bandit to reach base when Toelken put him aboard on a four-pitch walk. However, the next batter, Scott Schreiber bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to get Toelken out of the inning while facing the minimum. Toelken also walked a batter with two outs in the eighth, but left Jonathan Lacroix stranded at first on a Trey Dawson flyout. Toelken retired the first two batters in the ninth. On a 3-2 pitch with two outs, he walked Jeremy Pena.
With 55 pitches, the Cougars pulled Toelken and called on Blake Workman. Workman struck out Valdez looking to end the ninth, completing the Cougars first true no-hitter since May 17th, 2014, also against Quad Cities.
Toelken (2-0) earned the win and Workman (1) recorded the save. Brett Conine (1-2) suffered the loss for Quad Cities, allowing King's double in the seventh.
The Cougars and River Bandits play the finale of the three-game series on Saturday afternoon. Jackson Goddard (1-0, 0.73) will look to no-hit Quad Cities for the second straight game. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Follow the action live with Joe Brand on AM 1280 WBIG or on kccougars.com.
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