GENEVA, Ill - After surrendering a two-run lead in the top of the ninth, Giuseppe Papaccio coaxed a bases loaded walk to bring in the game-winning run in the Kane County Cougars 5-4 win over the Peoria Chiefs to end the 2013 season at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Monday afternoon.
Marco Hernandez, Jeimer Candelario and Rock Shoulders delivered three consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at four. Chiefs (30-40, 68-69) reliever Dixon Llorens (L, 3-3) proceeded to strikeout Willson Contreras for the first out. Giuseppe Papaccio followed and worked a full count before accepting ball four to bring Hernandez in to score and give the Cougars (25-44, 55-80) a 5-4 victory to end the year.
Peoria had tied the game with two runs in the top of the ninth. Jose Arias issued a walked and gave up a single before Michael Hamann (W, 3-4) replaced him. Jordan Walton smacked an RBI single and Jeremy Schaffer drove in the go-ahead run with a deep sac fly to center off of Hamann.
Nick Martini drilled a two-run homer in the first to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, Papaccio smacked an RBI single, his first of two RBI and three hits on the afternoon. Oliver Zapata tied the game by ripping a laser solo home run to right in the second. Willson Contreras gave the Cougars the lead in the fifth inning. With Jeimer Candelario at third, Contreras rolled a ball up the middle that Chiefs second baseman Leandro Mateo snagged with a dive into shallow center. Mateo got to his feet but had no play allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Scott Baker, in his sixth rehab start with the Cougars, worked a season-high 5.2 innings allowing just two runs on six hit while striking out four and walking none. Another big league rehabber, Rafael Dolis, faced just two batters in the top of the seventh inning before leaving with an apparent injury.
The Cougars will be back at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The 2014 season begins on the road on April 3rd against the Quad Cities River Bandits. For season tickets, single-tickets and group outings, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.