GRAND CHUTE, Wisc. - With a pair of postponements knocking out the first two games of the series between the Kane County Cougars and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium, the two clubs finally took the field on Saturday with a doubleheader split as the Cougars dropped game one, 7-6, before taking the second contest, 3-1, in 11 innings.
Ian Dickson (0-1) was staked to a 4-0 lead in the opening game of the series as the Cougars (3-6) jumped out to the early lead behind Oliver Zapata's sac fly to score Willson Contreras in the top of the second. One inning later, the Cougars tacked on three more with Rock Shoulders doubling home two before a Marco Hernandez sac fly.
Dickson couldn't hold the lead as he coughed up three runs in the bottom of the third and three more in the fourth inning over seven hits. In the fifth, Clint Coulter added a run with a long home run to center to put the Timber Rattlers (3-4) up by three. In the sixth, the Cougars drew within two as Hernandez singled and scored on a wild pitch by Taylor Mangum (1-1). Dan Vogelbach ripped a homer in the seventh off Martin Viramontes (S, 1), but Viramontes punched our Bijan Rademacher and Trey Martin with the bases loaded to preserve the lead.
Felix Pena started game two for the Cougars and limited Wisconsin to one unearned run on five hits. Chris McFarland reached on a Wes Darvill error with two outs in the fourth, and McFarland scored on a Brent Dean single. Dean gave that run back in the sixth inning on a passed ball to bring home Gioskar Amaya.
That helped send the game into extra innings, and the Cougars were finally able to break through in the 11th as Contreras smashed a two-run homer off Taylor Wall (0-1) with Jeimer Candelario aboard. Eddie Orozco (S, 1) worked a scoreless bottom of the 11th after Justin Amlung (2-0) tossed four shutout frames in relief.
The Cougars and Timber Rattlers will play another doubleheader to finish the four-game set on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 from Fox Cities Stadium. Left-hander Michael Heesch (0-0) will pitch the first contest for the Cougars followed by righty Jose Arias (0-0) in game two. The Cougars return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Thursday, April 18 to battle the Quad Cities River Bandits at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.