GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Kane County Cougars continue to confound the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Kane County beat the Timber Rattlers 6-1 on Friday night at Time Warner Cable Field to move to 7-4 in the season series between the teams. Greg Billo pitched six shutout innings for Kane County. Cheslor Cuthbert drove in three runs and made a key defensive play early in the game.
Kane County (38-46 overall, 10-5 second half) broke the scoreless tie with four runs in the top of the fourth inning off Rattlers starting pitcher Maverick Lasker. Alex Llanos started the inning with a double. He went to second on a grounder and scored on a sacrifice fly by Cuthbert.
Jake Kuebler followed with a double. An RBI single by Kevin David was next and the Cougars went up 2-0. After a walk put runners at first and second. Geulin Beltre singled in a run. An error let the next batter reach and the final run of the inning to score.
Cuthbert saved at least one run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Wisconsin (46-59, 8-7) had runners at first and third with two outs and Greg Hopkins at the plate. Hopkins hit a grounder down the third base line. Cuthbert made a diving stop and his momentum carried him into foul territory. But, he got up and made a strong throw to first for the final out.
The Cougars tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Lasker allowed a single to the leadoff batter and hit the next batter to put two runners on base. Wisconsin reliever Adrian Rosario replaced Lasker at that point.
Rosario's first pitch went to the backstop for a wild pitch that moved both runners into scoring position. The next pitch to Cuthbert was lined back through the middle for a two-run single and a 6-0 Kane County lead.
Kane County starting pitcher Greg Billo worked six shutout innings and allowed three hits. He struck out seven and walked one to put himself in line for his seventh win of the season.
Chase Boruff was one out away from concluding the shutout. Wisconsin had TJ Mittelstaedt at second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Mike Walker cracked a double to right-center to send Mittelstaedt home with the run.
But, the Rattlers would get no more and Kane County would take two of the three games played in the series.
Wisconsin is 3-6 in nine home games in the second half. But, they hit the road - where they are 5-1 in the second half - on Saturday night.
That is when the Timber Rattlers begin a brief three-game road trip to Quad Cities. Brooks Hall (4-1, 3.91) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The River Bandits have Zach Russell (4-7, 3.80) as their scheduled starter. Game time at Modern Woodmen Park is 7:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
WP: Greg Billo (7-1)
LP: Maverick Lasker (0-2)
SAVE: Chase Boruff (2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.