The Kane County Cougars engineered a 4-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to stun the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-4 on Sunday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
With the Kernels (45-67, 13-29) ahead 4-1, Stephen Tromblee (4-3) came on in relieft in the ninth trying for his second save in as many games. Tromblee retired the first batter before allowing 3 consecutive singles -- to Dean Espy, Kevin David and Justin Trapp. Jack Lopez followed with a slicing, 3-run triple to right-center, tying the game at 4-4.
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Lopez scored the winning run for the Cougars (55-57, 21-21) when Danny Mateo popped to shallow center. Andy Workman dropped the ball as he attempted to set up for a throw to the plate.
Starter Kyle Zimmer held the Kernels to 1 run on a balk, on 3 hits in 4 innings with 6 strikeouts.
The Kernels scored their second run when Workman doubled off Rudy Brown in the fifth to drive home Kevin Moesquit. Frazier Hall hit a 2-run homer in the top of the eighth off Andrew Triggs to put the Kernels ahead by 3 runs.
Reliever Mike Giovenco (3-2), the winning pitcher, worked a scoreless ninth inning.
Kernels starter Austin Wood worked 7 solid innings with 6 strikeouts.