CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa-- A marquee matchup in the Midwest League's Western Division did not disappoint, as the Kane County Cougars won a 6-5 thriller over the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
The Cougars (28-19, 73-44) won their first 1-run game in the last six tries with the victory over the Kernels (27-20, 58-59).
With the tying run on the bases and one out, Cougars manager Mark Johnson was in need of a pitching change, but his options were limited. A trade with the Miami Marlins prior to the game left the Cougars without two of their strongest relievers. Johnson went with Francisco Carrillo, who had pitched Thursday when he served up the walk-off hit to Bryan Haar.
The Kernels already scored in the ninth and threatened with the tying run at first and Haar due up. Carrillo walked Haar to put the winning run on base, but he struck out Alex Swim for the second out. Carrillo hit the next batter, Max Murphy, to load the bases. But Carrillo fanned Logan Wade swinging to give the Cougars the win.
The Cougars' Jacob Rogers cleared the bases with a double in the first inning for a 3-0 lead. The Cougars led 3-2 when Daniel Lockhart drove home 2 runs with a double in the sixth. Cael Brockmeyer provided what proved to be the winning run with an RBI single that scored Victor Caratini in the eighth.
Joe Mauer continued his rehabbing with the Kernels and went 3-for-5, including an RBI single in the hectic ninth.
Jonathan Martinez started the game for the Cougars, but only went 3 innings and was relieved by Michael Wagner. Wagner (3-2) tossed 4 shutout innings with 2 hits allowed and 5 strikeouts.
Stephen Gonsalves (1-2) started the game for the Kernels and surrendered 3 runs through 4 innings for the loss.
Saturday's game is scheduled for a 5:05 p.m. first pitch from Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The game will feature dueling left-handers as Tyler Ihrig (1-0, 3.38) takes the mound for the Cougars against the Kernels' Lewis Thorpe (2-2, 4.53).