Cougars get third straight win
CLINTON, Iowa — Overcoming an early deficit, the Kane County Cougars scored their third consecutive victory as they knocked off the Clinton LumberKings 7-4 on Saturday night at Ashford University Field.
Dan Vogelbach scored the game's first run as he drew a two-out walk in the first before coming home on a dropped flyball by center fielder Guillermo Pimentel. Clinton (15-18) wasn't behind for long as they jumped on Michael Heesch (2-2) in the bottom of the first.
Tim Lopes started the inning with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jordy Lara with the bases loaded. In the second, Taylor Ard, David Villasuso and Ketel Marte strung together consecutive doubles, scoring 2 runs, putting the LumberKings on top by 2.
Willson Contreras led the comeback charge for the Cougars (17-15) in the top of the fourth with a double before stealing home on the back end of a double steal when Oliver Zapata swiped second. Zapata scored on another dropped flyball, this time by left fielder Dario Pizzano to tie the game at 3-3.
After Clinton briefly retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars struck for three in the sixth as Contreras punched a home run on an 0-2 pitch from David Holman (0-2) to make it a 4-4 tie. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Gioskar Amaya, who cracked a 2-run single to break the tie.
Heesch lasted 6 innings despite surrendering a dozen hits. Brian Smith (first save) took over in the seventh and only gave up 1 more hit without allowing a run. The Cougars added an insurance run in the ninth with Contreras singling home Jeimer Candelario.
The Cougars and LumberKings play the second of their three-game series Sunday from Ashford University Field with a 2 p.m. first pitch. The Cougars have yet to name a starter, while the LumberKings will look to right-hander Victor Sanchez (0-1).
The Cougars are back at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. when they take on the Peoria Chiefs.
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