GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Kane County Cougars had three homers and picked up solid pitching from a pair of hurlers to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 7-2 on Friday night. Jacob Rogers, Cael Brockmeyer, and Trey Martin all homered to send the Rattlers to their second straight loss.
Kane County (78-45 overall, 33-20 second half) used the longball to go in front in the second inning. Rogers started the inning with a home run to left. Brockmeyer hit a solo home run with one out in the second and the Cougars were up 2-0.
Rogers struck again in the third inning when he singled with two outs to drive in a run for a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth, Martin stepped to the plate with two outs and no one on base for the Cougars. He sent a sinking line drive to center. Johnny Davis tried to make a diving catch, but the ball skipped past Davis and rolled all the way to the wall, Martin streaked around the bases for an inside-the-park home run to give Kane County a 4-0 lead.
Rattlers starting pitcher Barrett Astin walked Shawon Dunston, Jr., the batter immediately after Martin. Dunston stole second and would score on a two-out single by Danny Lockhart to make it 5-0.
Wisconsin (65-57, 29-24) got on the scoreboard against Kane County starter Jonathan Martinez in the bottom of the fourth. Clint Coulter's high popup in front of the plate with two outs dropped in for a single. Taylor Brennan followed with a double to right-center to knock in Coulter.
In the fifth, Steve Halcomb drove in a Omar Garcia with a single to make the score 5-2. Chris McFarland would single with two outs to bring the tying run to the plate later in the fifth, but Martinez got a strikeout to end the Wisconsin rally. Martinez scattered six hits over five innings, walked none, and struck out two before turning the game over to Tyler Ihrig.
The Cougars added two more two-out runs in the game. They had a runner at second with two outs in the sixth against Wisconsin reliever Tristan Archer. But, back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Victor Caratini drew a third straight walk to force in a run. In the eighth, Martin reached on a wild pitch after strike three to start the inning. He stole second and went to third on a flyout to center. Mark Zaguins blooped in a two-out single to right to score Martin and the Cougars were up 7-2.
Martin went 2-for-3 with three stolen bases and three runs scored for the Cougars.
Ihrig pitched four scoreless innings and allowed one hit, a two-out double to Halcomb in the seventh inning. He earned the save, his first, in the game. Martinez earned his ninth win of the season.
The Timber Rattlers dropped back to three games behind the Cedar Rapids Kernels for the second half Western Division lead with their loss. The Kernels beat the Peoria Chiefs 11-0 at home on Friday night and that allowed Wisconsin to stay two games in front of the Chiefs for the second half Western Division Wild Card. The Rattlers also remained four games clear of the Quad Cities River Bandits in the Wild Card race since the Bandits lost 6-5 to Burlington on Friday night. There are seventeen games remaining in the regular season.
Game two of the series is Saturday night. Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Wei-Chung Wang (0-1, 6.00) gets the start for the Timber Rattlers against Daury Torrez (10-5, 2.94) for Kane County. Game time is 6:35pm.
Saturday may just be the middle of summer, but just…well, "Let it go!" Elsa and Anna will be on hand to meet fans and there will be a special sing-along during the game. Play Potawatomi Bingo Casino Baseball Bingo during the game and stick around for a cool postgame fireworks display presented by FOX 11!
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, catch the action on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm. Saturday's game is also available to MiLB.TV subscribers.
Jacob Rogers (15th, 0 on in 2nd inning off Barrett Astin, 0 out)
Cael Brockmeyer (6th, 0 on in 2nd inning off Barrett Astin, 1 out)
Trey Martin (3rd, 0 on in 3rd inning off Barrett Astin, 2 out [Inside-the-park])
WP: Jonathan Martinez (9-5)
LP: Barrett Astin (7-7)
SAVE: Tyler Ihrig (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.