GENEVA, IL - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers went the extra mile on Friday to pick up their first win over the Kane County Cougars at Northwestern Medicine Field in 2017. Ryan Aguilar broke a scoreless tie with a two-out RBI single in the top of the tenth and the Rattlers held on for a 1-0 victory.
Kane County (64-50 overall, 25-22 second half) had a good scoring chance early. Stephen Smith doubled to start the third inning and went to third on a balk by Wisconsin starting pitcher Josh Pennington. Smith was still at third base when the inning ended as Pennington struck out the next two batters and retired the final batter on a foul pop.
Wisconsin's best chance to score in the first half of the game came in the top of the fifth. Jonathan Oquendo doubled and Corey Hairston walked with one out. But, Kane County starter Emilio Vargas retired the next two batters to strand the runners and keep the game scoreless.
Pennington set a new single-game high for strikeouts in a game as he recorded nine over five scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and walked one, but was not around for the decision.
The Rattlers bats went silent after the fifth inning. Kane County pitchers retired sixteen in a row after the walk to Hairston.
Meanwhile, the Cougars were threatening to take the lead in the eighth or win the game in the ninth.
In the eighth inning, They had runners at first and second with one out when Alec Kenilvort relieved Jordan Desguin and got the final two outs to keep the game scoreless.
In the ninth, Kenilvort struck out the first two batters, but allowed a hit, hit a batter, and walked another batter to load the bases. Kenilvort escaped the ninth with a strikeout and the game went to extra innings.
Junior Garcia, the third Kane County pitcher of the game, entered the game and retired the first two batters he faced. Then, Oquendo got on base with a single. Hairston kept the inning alive with another single to move Oquendo to second base. Aguilar lined the next pitch to left to drive in Oquendo with the first run of the game and Wisconsin was up 1-0.
The hit by Aguilar moved his current hitting streak to six games, which is his longest hitting streak of the season.
Closing out the game was not easy for the Rattlers (47-68, 21-26). The first two Kane County batters to hit in the tenth reached base on a single and an error. Kenilvort rebounded to get the first out with a strikeout, the fifteenth of the night by Wisconsin pitching.
Marcus Wilson was next and he sent a deep drive to the track in left-center, but Joantgel Segovia ran it down to make the catch for the second out.
Kenilvort got clean-up hitter Ramon Hernandez to send a hard grounder to Oquendo at third base. Oquendo fielded the ball and raced to third for the force out to end the game.
Stephen Vogt, who joined the Timber Rattlers from the Milwaukee Brewers on a Major League rehabilitation assignment earlier in the day, went 0-for-4 with three flyouts to right and a strike out. He is scheduled to catch part of the game for the Rattlers on Saturday.
Game three of the series is Saturday night. Thomas Jankins (8-6, 3.76) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kane County will counter with Connor Grey (1-1, 3.27). First pitch is scheduled 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.