GENEVA, IL - The Kane County Cougars built an early 9-0 lead over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Friday night at Northwestern Medicine Field. They would cruise to a 10-3 win in game one of a four-game series.
Kane County (23-21) took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. They loaded the bases on three straight singles with one out against Wisconsin starting pitcher Bowden Francis. Ernie De La Trinidad drove in the run with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.
The Cougars reloaded the bases in the first inning when Francis walked the next batter, but the inning ended with no more damage.
There would be lots of damage in the bottom of the second inning as the Cougars scored seven runs on six hits to go up 8-0.
Will Gorman started the inning with a triple and scored on a single by Jancarlos Cintron. Kane County loaded the bases again with a double and an intentional walk. Renae Martinez unloaded the bases with a double to left-center and the Cougars had a 5-0 lead.
De La Trinidad was next and his single to put runners on the corners. Yan Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Martinez. Joey Rose capped the scoring with a two-run home run.
The Rattlers (22-26) loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third, but Cougars starting pitcher Jhoan Duran retired the final two batters of the frame without allowing a run.
De La Trinidad struck again in the fourth inning against reliever Michael Petersen. The Cougars outfielder singled to right to drive in Yanqui, who had doubled earlier in the inning.
Duran did not come back out for the top of the fifth inning as he had made 70 pitches in his first four innings while striking out five.
Wisconsin got to reliever Juan Torres, who would strike out five in his two innings, for two unearned runs in the fifth to take a small bite out of the deficit. Devin Hairston was at second with two outs and he would score when a throw to first was wild after a grounder off the bat of Tristen Lutz. Demi Orimoloye drove in Lutz with a double and the Rattlers were down 9-2.
The teams would trade runs in their next turns at the plate. Kane County tallied a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Gabriel Maciel. Wisconsin got back to within seven runs after Zach Clark tripled and Pat McInerney drove him in with a ground out.
Neither team would score after that, but the Cougars pitchers weren't done racking up the strikeouts. Carlos Bustamante struck out four in his two innings of work. Then, Erbert Gonzalez struck out the side in order in the top of the ninth.
The quartet of Cougars hurlers struck out 17 Timber Rattlers batters in the game.
Wisconsin is 0-4 in four games against Kane County this season.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at Northwestern Medicine Field. Nelson Hernández (6-2, 4.04) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Cougars have named Matt Peacock (2-1, 2.52) as their starter. Game time is 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 the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps. Subscribers to MiLB.tv can watch the game over the internet.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.