GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Kane County Cougars scored single runs in the first three innings and pulled away from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for an 8-2 win Wednesday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
Kane County (30-14) put together a two-out rally in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Ben Carhart doubled after Wisconsin starting pitcher Tristan Archer retired the first two Kane County batters he faced. Yasiel Balaguert sent what appeared to be a routine fly ball to center, but the wind blew the ball to deep right-center just out of the reach of Omar Garcia for an RBI triple.
The Cougars added single runs in the second and third innings to build their lead to 3-0. Daniel Lockhart drove in a run in the second with a double. Carhart knocked in a run with a single in the third inning.
Wisconsin (21-24) struggled to get anything started against Kane County starter Duane Underwood. The Rattlers managed two hits off Underwood in five innings and could not take advantage of a hit batsman and four walks.
Kane County padded their lead in the top of the sixth. The first three batters reached base against Wisconsin starter Tristan Archer. Will Remillard dropped a single into left-center to drive in a pair of runs and make the score 5-0. Remillard has driven in twelve runs in six games against the Rattlers this season.
Archer walked the next batter to reload the bases and he was replaced by Rodolfo Fernandez. Fernandez allowed a run to score on a sacrifice fly, but escaped the inning without further damage.
Angel Ortega started a rally for the Rattlers in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out double against Kane County reliever Corbin Hoffner. Johnny Davis followed with an infield single to put runners on the corners. Chris McFarland was next and he sent a line drive to right-center. Ortega scored easily and Davis looked like he would as well. But McFarland was tagged out trying to get back to second before Davis touched the plate.
In the eighth, David Denson drove in Clint Coulter from second with a two-out single to right to cut into Kane County's lead.
But, Kane County scored twice off Fernandez in the top of the ninth inning. Jake Hannemann drove in a run with a single. Carlos Penalver would single to knock in Hannemann to make the score 8-2.
The Rattlers went down in order in the bottom of the ninth and Kane County took two of three in the series.
Wednesday's game was the final meeting of the first half between the Rattlers and Cougars. Wisconsin went 2-7 against Kane County in the half.
The Timber Rattlers begin a nine-game road trip with a game against the Beloit Snappers at Pohlman Field on Thursday night. Victor Diaz (1-1, 3.77) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Beloit has Dylan Covey (3-2, 3.26) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the pregame show at 6:10pm.
WP: Duane Underwood (1-1)
LP: Tristan Archer (2-2)