The Kane County Cougars battled back from a pair of 7-run deficits Saturday against the Quad Cities River Bandits, but fell 13-10 in 11 innings at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
With the Cougars trailing 10-7 in the bottom of the ninth, Jeimer Candelario and Rock Shoulders began a game-tying, 3-run rally with a pair of one-out singles. After a Marco Hernandez groundout, Willson Contreras drove home Candelario with an infield single. Then Oliver Zapata tied the game with a 2-RBI triple -- part of his 3-for-5, 5-RBI afternoon.
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In the 11th inning, the Cougars' Stephan Perakslis (0-1) issued a one-out walk to Roberto Pena, who was replaced by pinch runner Jordan Scott. After Scott stole second, Ryan Dineen delivered what proved to be the winning RBI on a single that gave the River Bandits (3-0) an 11-10 lead. Quad Cities tacked on a pair of insurance runs thanks to a sacrifice fly by Teoscar Hernandez and an infield singled from Carlos Correa, who finished with 5 RBI.
Gerardo Sanchez (1-0) earned the victory for the River Bandits despite blowing a save opportunity in the ninth. He worked 2 innings, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs. Cameron Lamb earned his first save by tossing a scoreless 11th inning.
The Cougars trailed 7-0 entering the bottom of the second. Jose Arias started the game for Kane County and allowed 7 runs on 7 hits in 1 innings. He surrendered 6 runs in the second, highlighted by a 2-run homer from Carlos Correa.
Nathan Dorris was the first out of the bullpen for Kane County. He and Ian Dickson helped keep the Cougars in the game by holding the River Bandits hitless in the fourth through sixth innings. Dorris tossed 2 innings. allowing 1 run on 3 hits. Dickson threw 5 innings out of the bullpen, allowing a pair of runs and 4 hits while striking out four.
The Cougars scored 4 unanswered runs in the fourth through the sixth innings before Quad Cities got back on the board in the seventh thanks to a solo home run from Pena and an RBI double by Correa.
Oliver Zapata belted a 2-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to bring the Cougars to within 3.
The Cougars will look to avoid the season-opening series sweep today at 1 p.m. when they hoste on the River Bandits. Left-hander Michael Heesch starts for the Cougars against lefty Brian Holmes.