GRAND CHUTE, Wisc. - A three-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning was erased by the Kane County Cougars, and they held two separate leads in extra frames before finally succumbing to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 10-9, in 11 innings.
Entering the ninth with a 6-3 disadvantage, the Cougars (31-44, 1-8) got a rally started when Carlos Escobar was hit by a pitch from Ryan Gibbard. Reggie Golden and Gioskar Amaya followed with singles to load the bases while Oliver Zapata drew a walk to force home Escobar. Kevin Encarnacion's sac fly pulled the Cougars within one, and Albert Almora tied the game at 6-6 with a run-scoring groundout.
In the top of the 10th, the Cougars grabbed the lead for the first time since the third inning as Jeimer Candelario doubled and scored on an Escobar sac fly. Marco Hernandez reached on a fielder's choice after a sac bunt and came home on an Amaya single to put the Cougars up by a pair.
Nathan Dorris (2-3) was unable to hang on to the lead in the bottom of the 10th. Chris McFarland walked and scored on a three-bagger off the bat of Michael Reed. Reed came home with the tying tally on a Tyrone Taylor knock. In the 11th, Encarnacion turned in a leadoff walk against Gibbard and crossed the dish on a Dan Vogelbach base hit against Mike Strong (1-2).
Wisconsin (31-43, 2-7) once again came from behind in the bottom of the 11th against Dorris. Mike Garza and Adam Giacalone reached on consecutive singles before McFarland's double tied the game at 9-9. Two batters later, Orlando Arcia came up with the bases loaded and bounced to Amaya at second. Amaya threw home to force out Alfredo Rodriguez, but Escobar's throw to first to try for a double play was wild, allowing McFarland to bring home the winning run.
The Cougars and Timber Rattlers continue their five-game set on Sunday afternoon with a 1:05 first pitch from Fox Cities Stadium. Left-hander Brian Smith (2-3) starts for the Cougars against righty Leonard Lorenzo (1-4). The Cougars return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Thursday, July 4, to take on the Quad Cities River Bandits at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.