Doubleheader sweep sends Kane County Cougars into first place

The Kane County Cougars took over sole possession of first place in the American Association East Division by sweeping a doubleheader against the Cleburne Railroaders on Wednesday afternoon at Northwestern Medicine Field in Geneva. Kane County (31-22) took the first game 8-2 and held on 3-1 to win the second game.

In Game 1, Cleburne (31-24) took an early lead against Cougars’ starter Nick Belzer (6-3). In the top of the first, Korey Holland led off the ballgame with a double down the left field line. After Holland moved to third on a groundout, Carter Aldrete drove him in with an infield single to make it 1-0.

That would be the only run Belzer allowed, as the right-hander earned the victory by allowing just one run on four hits. Belzer also picked up a pair of strikeouts while working around three walks.

After Jacques Pucheu (5-3) cruised through the first three innings, the Cougars put up a crooked number in the bottom of the fourth. To lead off the inning, Josh Allen was hit by a pitch. Then the Cougars racked up five straight singles, with Todd Lott, Jonah Davis, and Simon Reid all driving in a run. Along with the singles, Pucheu threw three wild pitches that all brought in runs.

In total, the Cougars put up six runs in the inning and sent 10 men to the plate to take a 6-1 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars added two more. With two outs, Trendon Craig reached on an error before Galli Cribbs Jr. was hit by a pitch to put a second runner aboard. Then, Armond Upshaw hit a flyball to center field that was dropped by Brian O’Grady, allowing both runners to score and pushing the lead to 8-1.

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