GRAND CHUTE, WI - Jake Kuebler hit three home runs to lead the Kane County Cougars to a 10-7 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Field. The Cougars hit five home runs in the game to build a 10-3 lead. That was enough to hold off a late Timber Rattlers charge and end Wisconsin's four game winning streak.
Kane County (37-45 overall, 9-4 second half) went in front in the top of the second inning. Kuebler launched a 2-0 pitch from Rattlers starting pitcher Del Howell with two outs. The ball banged off Kuebler's picture on the scoreboard in left-center to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, Yowill Espinal - Kane County's number nine hitter - cracked a leadoff homer over the wall in left and the Cougars were up 2-0.
Wisconsin (45-38, 7-6) cut the deficit to one run on an RBI grounder off the bat of Nick Shaw in the bottom of the third inning.
But, the Cougars pulled away in the top of the fourth with four runs. They loaded the bases with one out. Then, Julio Aparicio singled in a run to start the scoring. A run scoring wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Espinal made the score 5-1. Angel Franco singled in one more run to chase Howell from the game with the Cougars in front 6-1.
The Rattlers loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning with no outs, but could not score.
In the sixth, Greg Hopkins and Mike Walker singled with one out. Both moved up a base on a wild pitch. An RBI grounder by Cody Hawn scored Hopkins. Jason Rogers followed with an RBI double to get the Rattlers to within three runs.
But, the Cougars answered in the top of the seventh inning. Brian Fletcher started the inning with a home run to centerfield that cleared the batter's eye. Later in the inning, Kuebler bashed his second home run of the game. This one was a two-run shot to left to make the score 9-3.
Kuebler, who was hitting .196 and had two homers in 37 game with the Cougars this season, hit his third home run of the night with two outs in the ninth inning for a 10-3 advantage.
The Rattlers put together a little rally in the bottom of the ninth. Chad Stang and Shaw singled to start the inning, but they were still at first and second with two outs in the inning. Hopkins singled to left to score Stang. Then, Walker blasted a homer off the scoreboard. Walker's fourteenth home run of the season made the score 10-7.
Cody Hawn followed with a single, his third hit of the night. Rogers was next and his deep drive to left-center was rundown and caught by centerfielder Brett Eibner on the warning track for the final out.
Game two of the series is Thursday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field. Matt Miller (2-4, 4.74) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kane County has Leondy Perez (2-8, 3.44) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 12:05pm.
Tomorrow is a Thirsty Thursday with 22 ounce Pepsi products and 16 ounce Miller products are available for $2. Fans may redeem a Thursday game ticket at Slugger's, located inside Super Bowl on Northland Avenue, for a chance to win great prizes from Miller Lite.
Thursday also features s a bonus Baker Tilly Business Person's Special with a box seat ticket, a beverage, and a brat or hot dog for $11.50 and a business card. Senior citizens may also take advantage of this deal.
Additionally, Thursday is Taco Bell Day at Time Warner Cable Field. Area Taco Bell restaurants are hosting kids and family members from local Boys & Girls Clubs. There will be an in game offer and T-Shirts from Taco Bell.
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 11:45am.
Jake Kuebler (3rd, 0 on in 2nd inning, off Del Howell, 2 out)
Yowill Espinal (3rd, 0 on in 3rd inning, off Del Howell, 0 out)
Brian Fletcher (7th, 0 on in 7th inning, off Dan Britt, 0 out)
Jake Kuebler (4th, 1 on 7th inning, off Dan Britt, 1 out)
Jake Kuebler (5th, 0 on in 9th inning, off Skyler Crawford, 2 out)
Mike Walker (14th, 2 on in 9th inning, off Chas Byrne, 2 out)
WP: Mitch Hodge (2-0)
LP: Del Howell (1-4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.