A season-high 20-hit outburst boosted the Kane County Cougars to a convincing 11-8 victory over the host Beloit Snappers on Thursday night, evening the series at one game apiece.
Each starting pitcher faced the minimum three hitters in the first inning, but the Cougars jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second. Jeimer Candelario doubled and scored on a Rock Shoulders double. Willson Contreras drove home Shoulders with a single. Kevin Encarnacion and Gioskar Amaya also added a run against Dylan Covey.
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Covey allowed two more runs in the third as Willson Contreras slugged a 2-run homer.
But Michael Heesch gave 5 runs back to the Snappers (62-40, 19-13) in the bottom of the third as Daniel Robertson cracked a 2-run double prior to a 3-run blast off the bat of Chris Bostick.
Beloit evened the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the fourth with Bostick singling home Brett Vertigan. Reggie Golden quickly broke the tie in the fifth inning with a single to call Shoulders home against Nolan Sanburn (0-3). Shoulders ripped a solo homer in the seventh while the Cougars broke the game open with a 3-spot in the eighth.
Justin Amlung (4-4) tossed 2 innings out of the Cougars' bullpen while Armando Rivero and Sheldon McDonald combined for 3 shutout innings. Al Yevoli allowed two runs in the bottom of the ninth in his pro debut.