APPLETON, Wis. -- The Kane County Cougars' victory Wednesday night reflected the entire season as it displayed solid pitching, clutch hitting and consistent defense in a 7-3 decision over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Cougars also received help from a rehabbing big-leaguer to put them in a position to eliminate the Timber Rattlers on Thursday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
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Mike Olt was assigned to the Cougars' roster as a rehab appearance after straining his left hamstring with the Iowa Cubs in August. Olt was scheduled for 3 at-bats, and he took advantage of them. After Shawon Dunston Jr.'s walk and Mark Zagunis' single, Olt launched a 3-run homer over the center-field wall for a 5-1 Cougars advantage.
Carlos Penalver helped the Cougars jump in front with a sacrifice fly in the top of the second inning that scored Jacob Rogers. Yasiel Balaguert doubled the advantage with a single to drive in Dunston.
Jen-Ho Tseng allowed 2 hits through his 6 innings as both hits turned into runs. Tseng's solid outing kept the Cougars in front for almost the entire game.
Tyler Ihrig (1) came on in the seventh for a 3-inning save, allowing a run in the ninth. Ihrig received more insurance as Trey Martin delivered a 2-run single in the eighth.
After going 54-17 at home, the Cougars can reserve a spot for the Western Division championship series with a win Thursday. The Cougars will send right-hander Duane Underwood (6-4, 2.50) to the mound against Wisconsin's Preston Gainey (5-9, 4.18). First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.