GENEVA, IL - The Kane County Cougars got out to a fast start and beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 8-4 Friday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. The Cougars scored five times in the first and twice more in the second to build a 7-0 lead. A pair of Kane County pitchers struck out eleven Rattlers without issuing a walk in the game.
Kane County (15-6) sent nine men to the plate and scored five times in the bottom of the first. Rattlers starting pitcher Zach Quintana got the first out, but gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Danny Canela singled to send two of those runners home. Quintana walked the next batter to reload the bases. Will Remillard lined a double down the right field line to drive in all three runners on base to put Kane County up 5-0.
The Cougars kept coming in the second inning. Jacob Rogers grounded to first with runners at first and third to score a run. Canela followed with a single to center to score a runner from second and Kane County was up 7-0.
The Rattlers (10-10) got their first hit off Kane County starting pitcher Daury Torrez in the fifth inning. Torrez had retired the first 13 batters he faced in the game. Then, David Denson lined a single to right-center. But, Denson was left stranded.
Wisconsin found the range on Torrez in the seventh inning. Michael Ratterree, who was playing his first game back with the Rattlers after a stint with Huntsville in the Southern League, doubled with one out. Clint Coulter drove in Ratterree with a triple to deep left-center to get the Rattlers their first run. The RBI was the team-leading 16th of the season for Coulter. Denson was next and he singled to center to drive in Coulter.
The inning continued as Jose Pena reached on an error and Rafael Neda singled to load the bases. That knocked Torrez out of the game.
Juan Paniagua entered from the Kane County bullpen and Angel Ortega singled off him to sent Denson home to make the score 7-3. Paniagua regrouped to get the final two outs of the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Ratterree hit a solo home run with one out. The longball to left was Ratterree's third of the season and got Wisconsin to within 7-4.
Rattlers reliever Rodolfo Fernandez tossed three scoreless innings out of the bullpen to give the Rattlers a chance to get back in the game. He allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out three in his second appearance of the season.
Kane County tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth against Chris Razo, the Rattlers third pitcher of the night. Remillard doubled to start the inning. A two-out triple by Carlos Penalver drove in Remillard for the final run of the game.
Wisconsin is 1-4 on the first five games of its seven-game road trip. Kane County, the team with the best record in the Midwest League, has won four games in a row.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Taylor Williams (1-0, 4.50) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Duane Underwood (0-0, 1.13) is set to start for the Cougars. Game time is 1:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast starting with the pregame show at 12:40pm on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio.
WP: Daury Torrez (3-0)
LP: Zach Quintana (0-1)
SAVE: Juan Paniagua (1)