August started with a bang for the Beloit Snappers (55-51) with a Ryan Gridley walk-off RBI single in the ninth to defeat the Kane County Cougars 3-2 at Pohlman Field Wednesday night in front of 762 fans.
Miguel Mercedes began the inning with a double down the left field line and was pinch hit for by Mickey McDonald.
Two batters later and with McDonald on third, Gridley notched his second hit of the game, a single to center field with the infield in, to bring home McDonald and take the win 3-2.
Playing a big part in the win was Snappers relief pitcher Heath Bowers. Bowers pitched three scoreless innings of relief, getting out of a big two runners on and no outs jam in the top of the ninth and earning his fifth win of the season.
The scoring got started in the second inning, after Logan Farrar was hit by a pitch leading off. Mercedes, in his second game since being transferred to Beloit from the Athletics Arizona Rookie level team, lined a triple to right that skidded to the wall and behind the right fielder Yan Sanchez. Farrar flew around the bases and scored to make it 1-0 Snappers.
Jack Meggs flew out to left field and Mercedes would score to make it a sac fly. After a couple more hits, the second inning would end with the Snappers on top 2-0.
The Cougars would chip away and tie it up of Snappers starter Jared Poché. In the fourth, Jose Caballero hit an RBI triple to make it 2-1. Then in the sixth with two outs, Jancarlos Cintron singled home Ryan Grotjohn from second to tie it 2-2.
Poché, who won four of his last five starts coming in, got a no decision in six innings of work. He allowed seven hits, two earned runs, a walk and five strikeouts.
Cougars starter Cole Bartlett was making just his second start of the season, his first since May 31st against Beloit. He allowed just those two runs in the second inning but settled down to pitch five consecutive scoreless innings after the second frame.
Austin Beck went 2-for-4 with a single and a double, notching his team-leading 27th multi-hit game of the season. Mercedes triple was the first extra-base hit of the night, bringing the Snappers to 34 extra-base hits in their last 39 games.
The Snappers got their first walk-off win since July 20th, a 4-3 win in 10 innings over the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
The Snappers also moved to 19-12 on the season in series openers and 6-4 on the year against the Cougars. The Snappers have now won 18 of their last 26 games and have hit 10 or more hits in 12 of their last 20 games to continue their hot second half.
Game two of this three-game series will pick back up at 7:00 p.m. Thursday night. Heading to the hill to start for the Snappers will be right-hander Wyatt Marks (5-6, 3.23). The Cougars will send left-hander Lane Ratliff (2-1, 4.29) to the bump.
Thursday's game is a Two Dollar Thursday promotion. Hot dogs, brats, pizza, 12 oz. domestic draft beer and fountain soft drinks can be purchased for just $2. Presented by your friends at Advia Credit Union.
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and have been the Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics since 2013. For more ticket information, contact the Snappers office at (608) 362-2272 or on our website, www.snappersbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.