BACK TO BACK: OTTAWA’S KUROKOWA REPEATS AS TOP HURLER

Photo: Marc Lafleur / Ottawa Champions

Durham, N.C. — Going 4-0 with a 1.32 ERA and 22 strikeouts over five starts, Champions RHP Jordan Kurokowa was named the Can-Am League’s Rawlings Player of the Month for July.

Kurokawa won the same honors in June; he is the third pitcher in league history to be named Pitcher of the Month in two or more consecutive months (RHP Jeff Duda, Quebec, June-July-August 2012; LHP A.J. Wideman, New Jersey, June-July 2009).

Allowing just five earned runs in 34.0 innings in July, the 25-year-old’s most impressive outing may have been his most recent, throwing seven shutout innings against Trois-Rivieres on Saturday, July 28, striking out six and allowing just three singles.

So far this season, Kurokawa is 8-3 with a stingy 1.83 ERA, second-lowest in the league, tossing two complete-game shutouts and limiting opponents to a .222 average. The eight victories and two shutouts tie him for the league lead, while his 82.2 innings pitched and three complete games are second-highest in the Can-Am.

Kurokawa is in his first season with Ottawa after spending 2017 with Lake Erie of the Frontier League, where he finished second in the league with a 2.53 ERA to go along with a 7-4 record. In 2016, his first professional season, he pitched in 13 games with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies. Kurokawa was originally chosen by Philadelphia in the 28th round of the 2016 draft out of the University of Hawaii-Hilo.