After squandering a 5-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning for the second straight game, the Kane County Cougars bounced right back with a run in the bottom of the ninth to earn a 6-5 victory over the Clinton LumberKings on Tuesday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
Reliever Eddie Orozco (1-1) entered the contest in the top of the ninth in search of his first save, but he walked leadoff hitter Brock Hebert. Ketel Marte bunted, and Orozco's throw sailed over the head of first baseman Dan Vogelbach, putting the tying runs in scoring position. Hebert scored on a groundout, and Orozco uncorked a wild pitch that scored Marte to tie the game at 5-5.
In the bottom of the ninth, Gioskar Amaya and Vogelbach singled with one out off loser Grady Wood (0-1). A wild pitch advanced the runners before Jeimer Candelario drove home the game-winner with a liner over the head of left fielder Dario Pizzano.
Pierce Johnson got the start for the Cougars (2-4) and tossed 5 innings, allowing 2 runs in the first inning.
The Cougars scored three times in the second, but Clinton tied it in the sixth.
In the sixth, the Cougars' Rock Shoulders blasted his second homer, and Bijan Rademacher contributed a run-scoring double in the eighth.
Completing their seven-game homestand to open the season, the Cougars will go for a sweep of Clinton today at 11 a.m. Right-hander Tayler Scott (0-0) starts for the Cougars against southpaw Scott DeCecco (0-1).