A 3-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning was erased by the Kane County Cougars, and they held two separate leads in extra innings before finally succumbing to the host Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 10-9 in 11 innings.
Trailing 6-3 entering the ninth, the Cougars (31-44, 1-8) got a rally started when Carlos Escobar was hit by a pitch. Reggie Golden and Gioskar Amaya followed with singles to load the bases while Oliver Zapata drew a walk to force home Escobar. Kevin Encarnacion's sac fly pulled the Cougars within one, and Albert Almora tied the game at 6-6 with a run-scoring groundout.
The Cougars scored twice in the 10th, but the Rattlers matched them. Then, Dan Vogelbach got an RBI single in the 11th to give the Cougars a 9-8 lead, but the Rattlers answered with 2 runs in the 11th to prevail.
In the bottom of the 11th, Mike Garza and Adam Giacalone reached on consecutive singles before McFarland's double tied the game at 9-9. Two batters later, Orlando Arcia came up with the bases loaded and bounced to Amaya at second. Amaya threw home to force out Alfredo Rodriguez, but Escobar's throw to first to try for a double play was wild, allowing McFarland to bring home the winning run.
The Cougars and Timber Rattlers continue their five-game set on Sunday afternoon with a 1:05 first pitch from Fox Cities Stadium. Left-hander Brian Smith (2-3) starts for the Cougars against righty Leonard Lorenzo (1-4). The Cougars return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Thursday, July 4, to take on the Quad Cities River Bandits at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.