Cougars fall to Kernels 8-7
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Kane County Cougars held leads of 3-0 and 6-3 in the second and fourth innings, but a two-out, 3-run triple by Niko Goodrum in the sixth inning clinched the game for the Cedar Rapids Kernels as the Cougars fell 8-7 on Monday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Kane County Cougars (20-22) held a 2-run lead with one on and one out in the sixth when Cougars starter Tayler Scott was replaced by lefty Nathan Dorris (1-2).
Dorris walked a pair of runners sandwiched around a strikeout to load the bases with two outs for Goodrum. The Kernels' first baseman cleared the bases with his triple down the right-field line to give Cedar Rapids its first lead of the game, an advantage they would not relinquish.
The Cougars had taken their second 3-run lead in the fourth when Dan Vogelbach hit a bouncing ball into right field with two outs to drive in a pair of runs. Jeimer Candelario followed with an RBI single to put the Cougars up 6-3.
Candelario finished the game with 4 hits in 5 at-bats to go along with a run scored and 2 RBI.
Kane County took its first 3-run lead with 3 runs in the second inning on just 2 hits. Willson Contreras hit an RBI single, Bijan Rademacher drove in Rock Shoulders with a sacrifice fly, and Oliver Zapata gave the Cougars their early 3-0 lead on an RBI fielder's choice.
Scott worked 5 innings for the Cougars, allowing 8 hits and 4 earned runs while walking two and striking out four. Dorris took the loss, working 1 innings. The lefty allowed one inherited runner to score on top of the 3 runs he was charged with while walking three batters.
Tim Atherton (3-2) earned the win for the Kernels out of the bullpen with 2 scoreless innings while giving up just 1 hit. Steve Gruver (3) got the save with 2 innings of work, allowing a run in the ninth on a Candelario RBI single. With Rock Shoulders at the plate as the potential go-ahead run, the lefty induced a flyball to left field to end the game.
The Cougars have an off-day Tuesday before traveling to Peoria to take on the Chiefs in the opener of a three-game set Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Lefty Michael Heesch (2-3) will start for the Cougars, righty Kurt Heyer (2-2) going for the Chiefs.
The Cougars return home May 25 for a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m. against the Beloit Snappers.
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