Cougars drop Lugnuts 8-4
For the second consecutive night, storms passed over Fifth Third Bank Ballpark to clip another contest before nine full innings.
But this time the Kane County Cougars came out on top to defeat the visiting Lansing Lugnuts 8-4 on Saturday night after 5½ innings.
Felix Pena (3-3) worked all 6 innings for the Cougars (36-57, 6-21) after giving up 3 runs in the first. Jorge Flores singled with one out and advanced to second when Christian Lopes was hit by a pitch. Kevin Patterson followed with a 3-run homer to put Lansing (40-57, 8-20) on top.
Lugnuts starter Kendall Graveman couldn't keep the lead for long as the Cougars struck back with 4 runs in the bottom of the first.
Gioskar Amaya started a string of 3 straight singles to load the bases before Jeimer Candelario walked to bring home the first Cougars run. Rock Shoulders' sacrifice fly scored Albert Almora, pulling the Cougars within 1.
Dan Vogelbach scored the tying run on a wild pitch before Marco Hernandez brought home the go-ahead run after stealing third base and scoring on a throwing error by catcher Santiago Nessy.
Pena responded by retiring the next 11 hitters he faced before Carlos Ramirez singled to lead off the fifth. Ramirez was erased on a double-play ball off the bat of Chris Hawkins, but Kellen Sweeney singled to kick-start a two-out rally.
Dwight Smith, Jr.'s single put Sweeney in scoring position, and Jorge Flores evened the score at 4-4 with a run-scoring single.
Tucker Donahue came on in relief for the Lugnuts in the fifth and coughed up another 4-spot. Almora reached on an error to start the inning with Vogelbach doubling down the first-base line to bring home Almora.
Vogelbach scored on another wild pitch before Willson Contreras and Reggie Golden each drove home a run to put the Cougars up by 4.
Pena worked a scoreless sixth, and the first two Cougars walked in the bottom of the sixth before the rain negated the rest of the game.
The Cougars and Lugnuts play the second of their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. from Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Right-hander Tayler Scott (4-5) will start for the Cougars against fellow righty Javier Avendano (6-6).