GENEVA, IL - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers nearly pulled off the comeback at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Sunday afternoon. But, the Kane County Cougars held on for a 5-4 win. John Dishon and Chadwin Stang each had three hits to lead Wisconsin's 13 hit attack, but a two-run homer by Lane Adams in a three-run fifth inning gave Kane County just enough.
The Cougars (19-18) got to Rattlers starter Drew Gagnon for a run on back-to-back doubles in the second inning. Orlando Calixte doubled to right-center with one out. Dean Espy followed with a double off the wall in left on a 2-2 to drive in Calixte to put Kane County in front.
Stang rallied the Rattlers (23-14) to the lead in the top of the third inning. Dishon started the inning with a ground rule double. Stang got Dishon home with a bloop single to right-center. The Rattlers centerfielder took second on the throw to the plate and was not done running. Stang took off for third on the next pitch home and swiped the base clean. The throw wound up in left field to allow Stang to trot home with the go ahead run.
But, Kane County responded in the bottom of the third to tie the game. A double and a single put runners on first and third with no outs against Gagnon. Danny Mateo was next and he sent a hard grounder to the mound that was fielded cleanly by Gagnon. But, he threw wildly to second. The runner from third scored the tying run and when the dust settled, Kane County had runners at the corners again and there were still no outs. However, Gagnon escaped the inning without another run crossing the plate.
The Cougars got to Gagnon in the bottom of the fifth. There were two outs with a runner at second and Bonifacio singled to right-center. Lane Adams drove the next pitch over the wall in left for a two-run homer and a 5-2 Kane County lead.
Stang and Dishon teamed up again to get the Rattlers a run in the top of the seventh. Dishon singled with one out and moved up to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch. Stang doubled to right to drive in the run.
Jason Rogers started the Rattlers eighth with a double. He took third on a grounder. Greg Hopkins drove in Rogers with a sacrifice fly. The Rattlers threatened to tie the game when Ben McMahan and Yadiel Rivera had consecutive two out singles to put runners on the corners. But, Kane County closer Nick Graffeo got the final out in the eighth.
Dishon doubled to right against Graffeo to start the Wisconsin ninth, but Kane County's closer kept him there and got the final three outs for his eighth save of the season.
Game three of the series is Monday afternoon. Chad Thompson (1-0, 2.70) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kane County has Kellen Moen (1-1, 4.79) as their scheduled starter. Game time is noon. Tune in for action on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 11:40am.
Lane Adams (2nd, 1 on in 5th inning off Drew Gagnon, 2 out)
WP: Edwin Carl (3-2)
LP: Drew Gagnon (3-1)
SAVE: Nick Graffeo (8)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.