GENEVA, Ill. - A five-run rally in the bottom of the eighth uplifted the Kane County Cougars to an 8-7 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits on Friday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, marking back-to-back wins for the first time since June 7-8.
It was a 3-3 tie entering the eighth inning when the River Bandits (48-36, 10-5) grabbed the advantage with a three-spot. Carlos Correa walked to start the inning against Lendy Castillo (2-5) while Jesse Wierzbicki singled to put two men on for Roberto Pena. Pena came through with a base hit to drive in Correa, putting Quad Cities on top.
Jobduan Morales extended the advantage for the River Bandits when he bounced a two-run double out of Dan Vogelbach's reach at first, making it 6-3. As was the case the first two times the River Bandits had the advantage, they coughed the lead right back to the Cougars (34-47, 4-11) in the bottom of the eighth.
A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out while Marco Hernandez drew a free pass to make it a 6-4 contest. Willson Contreras was hit by a pitch which pulled the Cougars within one as Vogelbach came home. Giuseppe Papaccio tied the game with a run-scoring hit, and Gioskar Amaya finished the comeback with a two-run double down the right field line off John Neely (2-5), who blew the save.
Justin Amlung (S, 1) gave up a ninth-inning tally but stranded the tying run on first to end the contest. Teoscar Hernandez cracked a solo homer to start the contest against Brian Smith, who worked five-plus innings for the Cougars. Vogelbach and Albert Almora blasted home runs for the Cougars.
The Cougars and River Bandits battle in the third of their five-game set on Saturday night at 6:30 from Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Right-hander Jose Rosario (0-4) toils for the Cougars against fellow righty Mike Hauschild (5-1). For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.