Speigner Tosses Complete Game Shutout

Levale Speigner is not the first name to come to mind when you think complete game shutout, in fact, he wasn't even a starter til this season. However, on Thursday, Speigner tossed his second complete game of the season in a 1-0 victory. The win was his fifth in his last 11 starts, and was the New Britain Rock Cats' seventh in a row. With 16 games remaining, the Cats are only four games out of playoff contention.

Levale Speigner had his best outing of the season on Thursday, throwing a complete game shutout over the first place Portland Sea Dawgs. The 24-year old righthander, who has reached Triple-A this season, struck out seven batters, and allowed only two hits in the 1-0 Rock Cats victory.

The win was Speigner's first since his last complete game, against Norwich on July 29. Thursday was just another chapter in his comeback story this season, after opening up the year with an 0-6 record..

However, his efforts on Thursday were enough for Minor League Baseball to name him the "Star of the Day." The 14th round draft pick of the Twins in 2003, Speigner has been used mostly as a closer in his professional career, and this was his first complete game since college. He made his first professional start last season, while playing for Fort Myers.

Home has been nice to Speigner this season, although he has a 2-3 record in New Britain Stadium, his ERA is at an impressive 3.22. Compare that to a 5.16 clip on the road, and it is clear to see he loves the home cooking.

His seven strikeouts on Thursday were a season-high, and he has struck out at least one batter in every appearance this year but one.

Prior to being drafted by Minnesota, Speigner was a perfect 10-0 at Auburn University, compiling a 2.42 ERA in 27 appearances. In high school, he was the Georgia AA State Player of the Year, starring at Thomasville High School as both a shortstop and a pitcher.

As a team, the Rock Cats are skyrocketing up the standings in the Eastern League North Division. After Thursday's win, the Cats have won seven straight games, and are now only eight games out of first.

With 16 games remaining in the season, the Cats are only four games out of a playoff birth, as the finish their regular season September 3 against the Binghamton Mets.

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