GENEVA, IL - The Kane County Cougars erased an early deficit and went on to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5-1 at Northwestern Medicine Field on Thursday night.
Ronnie Gideon gave the Timber Rattlers (46-68 overall, 20-26 second half) a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the top of the first inning. Gideon has matched his longest hitting streak of the season at seven with that double. He has also driven in at least one run in his last three games. Wisconsin had runners at second and third with one out in the frame, but couldn't add to the lead.
The Cougars (64-49, 25-21) tied the game in the bottom of the third inning. Manny Jefferson doubled with one out. Luis Silverio drove in Jefferson with a two-out, bloop single to center.
Kane County took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Back-to-back singles and a stolen base put runners on the corners with no outs. Eudy Ramos hit a sacrifice fly to center score the runner from third for a 2-1 lead.
Wisconsin starting pitcher Victor Diaz got the next batter to send a slow roller to short. However, the throw to second for the force on the lead runner was dropped for an error. Stephen Smith made the Rattlers pay with a two-run double to the corner in left and the Cougars had a 4-1 lead.
Luis Silverio made it 5-1 in favor of the Cougars with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the fifth. Silverio has hit three of his five home runs in 2017 against the Rattlers. He also has ten of his 35 RBI this season against Wisconsin.
The Timber Rattlers bullpen kept Kane County off the scoreboard. Nattino Diplan pitched two perfect innings with a four strikeouts. Rodrigo Benoit worked a scoreless eighth.
However, the Rattlers offense didn't get a runner past second base after the first inning. They are now 3-11 against the Cougars this season, including 0-4 at Kane County.
Game two of the series is Friday night at Northwestern Medicine Field. Josh Pennington (0-3, 3.98) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Emilio Vargas (5-4, 3.70) has been named the starter for Kane County. First pitch is set for 6:30pm.
The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:10pm. The broadcast is also available on TuneIn Radio, IHeartRadio, and MiLB.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.