Jacob Rogers came oh-so-close to giving the Kane County Cougars another dramatic home victory, but the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers held on to win 3-2 Wednesday afternoon at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
The Cougars (4-2, 49-27) trailed 3-2 in the ninth inning when Jeimer Candelario drew a one-out walk. Cougars manager Mark Johnson sent up Jacob Rogers to pinch hit. Rogers, who was recently named Midwest League player of the week, drilled a ball to deep right-center, where Johnny Davis made a leaping catch at the wall. Davis fired the ball into the infield and Candelario was doubled off first base to end the game.
The Cougars' 2 runs came from their two hottest hitters -- Kyle Schwarber and Jacob Hannemann. Schwarber, the Cubs' first-round draft pick earlier this month, not only contributed at the plate with a solo home run in the third, he threw out two runners trying to steal bases in his second game behind the plate. Schwarber's blast was his second as a Cougar and sixth in 11 professional games. He also stole a base.
After Wisconsin forged a 1-1 tie in the fourth, Hannemann stole home for a 2-1 Cougars advantange. Drawing a one-out walk, Hannemann stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and headed for home on a squeeze bunt attempt by Carlos Penalver. The pitch was in the dirt and Hannemann was credited with his second steal of home this season.
Cougars starter Tyler Skulina worked 5 innings of 1-run baseball without a decision, as reliever Zak Hermans (2-2) took the loss.
Today's rubber game of the three-game series begins at 6:30 p.m. when the Cougars send Daury Torrez (7-3, 3.48 ERA) against Tristan Archer (2-2, 3.98).