CLINTON, Iowa - Overcoming an early deficit, the Kane County Cougars scored their third consecutive victory as they knocked off the Clinton LumberKings, 7-4, on Saturday night at Ashford University Field.
Dan Vogelbach scored the game's first run as he drew a two-out walk in the top of the first before coming home on a dropped fly ball by center fielder Guillermo Pimentel. Clinton (15-18) wasn't behind for long as they jumped on Michael Heesch (2-2) in the bottom of the first.
Tim Lopes started the frame with a single and scored on a sac fly from Jordy Lara with the bases loaded. In the second, Taylor Ard, David Villasuso and Ketel Marte strung together consecutive doubles, plating two runs, putting the LumberKings on top by two.
Willson Contreras led the comeback charge for the Cougars (17-15) in the top of the fourth with a double before stealing home on the back end of a double steal when Oliver Zapata swiped second. Zapata scored on another dropped fly ball, this time by left fielder Dario Pizzano to tie the game at 3-3.
After Clinton breifly retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars struck for three in the sixth as Contreras punched a home run on an 0-2 pitch from David Holman (0-2) to make it a 4-4 tie. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Gioskar Amaya, who cracked a two-run single, breaking the tie.
Heesch lasted six innings despite surrendering a dozen hits. Brian Smith (S, 1) took over in the seventh and only gave up one more hit without coughing up a run. The Cougars added an insurance tally in the ninth with Contreras singling home Jeimer Candelario.
The Cougars and LumberKings will play the second of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon from Ashford University Field with a 2:00 first pitch. The Cougars have yet to name a starter while the LumberKings will look to right-hander Victor Sanchez (0-1). The Cougars are back at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Tuesday night at 6:30 when they take on the Peoria Chiefs. For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.