The first-place Kane County Cougars opened up a nine-game homestand Saturday night with a 6-4 victory over the Burlington Bees at Elfstrom Stadium. The Cougars maintained their 1-game lead atop the Western Division.
Though they did see a 4-run lead disappear, the Cougars never trailed. Alex Llanos scored on a wild pitch by Sean Murphy (0-3) in the bottom of the first and then scored on an RBI double by Brett Eibner in the third to make it 2-0.
Eibner came home on a Burlington error, and Cheslor Cuthbert hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Brian Fletcher to make it 4-0.
Starter Yordano Ventura was cruising along until the Bees rallied for 4 runs in the fourth inning. Ventura left because of an injury with one out in the fifth and ended up with a no-decision.
He gave up 4 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts in 4⅓ innings. Allen Caldwell (3-0) entered and silenced the Bees for 3⅔ innings with 1-hit shutout relief and 7 strikeouts to earn the win.
Cuthbert doubled in Fletcher in the sixth, and Geulin Beltre scored on a wild pitch in the seventh for the 6-4 final. Nick Rogers earned his second save with a scoreless ninth.
Racers 7, Bandits 3:
Looking to recover from Friday's extra-inning loss, the Bandits sent Jamee Juarez to the circle to face off against former Bandit Kristina Thorson.
Following an infield groundout by Sharonda McDonald in the first inning, the Racers' bats came alive and they never looked back. With Jessica Williams and Taylor Schlopy on base, Samantha Marder crushed a home run to center field giving the Racers a 3-0 lead.
The Bandits fell to 12-7.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Bandits scored their first run on a Shannon Doepking double to center, scoring Caitlin Lever to cut the Racers' lead to 5.
The Bandits kept their hopes alive in the fifth inning. With Danielle Zymkowitz and Amber Patton on base after back-to-back infield singles, Goler hit a towering home run over the right-field bleachers, cutting the Racers lead in half. The blast was measured at 250 feet.
Fielders 6, Scorpions 1:
The Lake County Fielders powered their way past the Yuma Scorpions on Friday night for their 24th win of the season.
The Fielders were led by starting pitcher Dan Blewett (5-1), who went the distance and gave up 1 run on 6 hits with 5 strikeouts. He leads the Fielders in wins.