GRAND CHUTE, WI - After Jeimer Candelario tied the game with a home run to lead off the top of the ninth, Mike Garza ripped a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Kane County Cougars dropped the four-game series finale on Tuesday afternoon at Fox Cites Stadium.
With the loss, the Cougars (22-41, 52-77) set the franchise record for losses in a season eclipsing the previous mark by the 1992 club that went 61-76.
The Cougars entered the ninth down after the Timber Rattlers had taken the lead in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Alfredo Rodriguez. The fly ball scored Dustin Houle who reached third on an error by centerfielder Oliver Zapata. It was the sixth error of the game by the Cougars leading to the fifth unearned run scored by the Timber Rattlers.
After the game-tying home run in the ninth, Michael Hamann (L, 2-4) allowed a leadoff base hit to Tyrone Taylor before striking out the next two batters in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Mike Garza ripped a double down the first base line allowing Taylor to score the game-winning run.
The first three innings were marred by defensive mistakes. The game was tied at four after three frames the featured two errors by the Timber Rattlers leading to two unearned runs. In the same time span, the Cougars committed three errors leading to four unearned runs. In the fourth, the Timber Rattlers took the lead with a pair of runs before Reggie Golden tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning by clubbing his ninth home run of the year.
Jono Armold (W, 2-4) tossed two innings out of the bullpen giving up just the solo home run to Candelario in the ninth. Jorge Lopez started for Wisconsin working five innings allowing ten hits, six runs, four of which were earned while striking out three.
In his first pro start, Nathan Dorris worked three innings allowing just two hits. Overall, he was charged with six runs but only two were earned as he walked a season-high four.
The Cougars start their final road series of the year with the opener of a three-game set against the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Wednesday evening at 6:35 p.m. The Cougars will start Jose Arias (0-0) against righty Jose Berrios (7-6) The Cougars will return home to take on the Chiefs for the final series of the year on Saturday, August 31st at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.