Peoria Chiefs at Kane County Cougars

August 24th, 1997

Todd Hogan CF 4 0 0 0
Ken Cameron LF 3 0 0 0
Brent Butler SS 2 0 0 0
Joe Freitas DH 4 0 0 0
Billy Deck 1B 4 0 0 0
Luis Saturria RF 2 0 0 0
Jose Leon 3B 3 0 0 0
Jimmy Gargiulo C 3 0 0 0
Rodger Harris 2B 2 0 0 0
Scott Podsednik CF 4 0 1 0
Jeff Venghaus 2B 4 0 1 0
Tyrone Horne RF 1 0 0 0
Jon Heinrichs LF 4 0 0 0
Ryan Robertson DH 3 0 1 0
Jason Garrett 1B 3 0 0 0
Larry Kleinz 3B 3 0 0 0
Jason Alaimo C 3 1 1 0
Joe Aversa SS 2 0 1 0

E-Harris 2, Venghaus, LOB PEO-5, KC-6, 2B-Podesdnik, CS-Venghaus, SACB-Saturria, Aversa

Peoria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Kane County 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 X 1 5 1

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Jose Villafana 8 5 1 0 3 3 L (5-3)

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Aaron Cames 9 0 0 0 3 14 W (8-10)

HB-Cameron (Cames), BK-Cames, SO-Hogan 2, Cameron, Butler, Freitas 3, Deck 2, Leon, Gargiulo 3, Harris, Venghaus 2, Horne, BB-Butler 2, Harris, Horne 3

T-1:55, A-8,879
U-Umland, Bainter

Daily Herald, August 25th, 1997
Joe Bush

Despite what you may have heard or read, Cougars right-hander Aaron Cames did not toss a no-hitter Sunday.

He hit one batter.

But seriously, folks, other than the three Peoria batters Cames walked, that was the only baserunner the 21 year old allowed in the first Kane County no-no in the franchise's seven year, 951 game history.

Plunking batters is a way of life for the Cougars, who have led the 14 team Midwest League in hit batsmen four of the last five seasons, including this one.

The Florida organization preaches inside pitching: HBs are an accepted hazard of development for kids who have grown wary of what aluminum bats can do to inside pitches.

Cames (8-10) leads the staff with 15 hit batters, so denting one while hurling a no hitter is no suprise. In 2 of his 3 most starts previous to Sunday, however, Cames last 4 2/3 and 5 innings, respectively, had hit four batters and thrown 4 wild pitches, and had fretted over lost confidence.

He regained most of it in his Aug 19 start, and 8 inning stint in which he suffered the 2-1 loss despite allowing just 7 hits, striking out eight and walking one.

He hit no one, but threw 2 wild pitches that helped the 2 runs across.

Through he obviously had all but one kink worked out by Sunday, he wasn't sure how. He fanned 14 batters, the Cougars' season high thus far.

"Something just clicked," Cames said. "You go home and just think every night, and maybe you just think too much and just need to go out there and let it rip. I have really no explanation for it."

Cougars pitching coach Brian Peterson did. "The work habits have always remained the same," Peterson said. "He's a great preparation guy, so obviously it was the thought process. So I said to him, 'Tell me what the diffeerence is between when you throw 8 innings and pitch a real good game as opposed to 5 of the last 6 starts when you weren't very good. You walked guys, you got behind and you hit guys, you didn't get anybody out.' He said, 'I just tried to decide that I was only going to pitch to one guy at a time and not try to do too much at once.' I think he corrected himself and didn't even know it."

Cames wasn't being overly humble when he said it was " one of his best starts." Having the best stuff of your life is not a prerequisite for making history, especially when you throw first pitch strikes to 24 of the 32 batters you face, as Cames did.

"I've seen him have a better slider and a better changeup," Peterson said, "He's actually had a better fastball too."

"He didn't have a real sharp slider, the changeup was not there, it was very inconsistent." Sunday's catcher, Jason Alaimo said. "We just moved the ball in out reall well and had hitters off balance. And he threw the fastball up in the zone well. When the ball's up in the zone, it's really hard to hit, but it looks like it's a good pitch. We had a lot of hitters swining through that pitch."

Through shortstop Joe Aversa made three no hitter saving plays, Alaimo may have been the most thrilled Cougar. The 22 year old from Holbrooke, New York, had played in just 33 games as one of two backup catchers. "This is really special." Alaimo said. "The feeling I had inside probably won't ever be matched. I don't even thing a World Series victory could."

As for low key, 5 four 11, 185 pound Cames, he was a 51st round pick in 1995 and has a 4.04 ERA, he's in danger of needed a larger cap.

He signed "a million autographs" after the game, had a little celebration with his host family, called home to Woodland, Calif., and watched Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.

He's learned to not flog himself over mistakes and is looking ahead to his next regular season start. It'll be against Peoria. After that, who know's The Cougars led the Central Division by 2 games (as of Monday) with seven to play and could be playing in the postseason.

I'd like to get as many (starts) as I can in before going home," Cames said. "I want to ride it out a little bit, ride the wave."