Cougars Clinch Winning Season
PEORIA, Ill. - Playoffs or not, the Kane County Cougars (35-30, 70-64) can say the 2018 season was a winning one after a 3-1 win over the Peoria Chiefs (37-28, 76-59) Thursday night from Dozer Park. The Cougars second straight win guarantees a winning series. It also guarantees at least a tie for the Wild Card lead with the Beloit Snappers.
After never leading in the four-game series sweep to Cedar Rapids, the Cougars haven't trailed in the first two games against Peoria and have outscored the Chiefs 9-1. Franklyn Soriano (2-3) and Johan Oviedo (10-10) kept the game scoreless through four innings before the Cougars put up a three spot in the fifth.
Eudy Ramos led off the inning and belted a solo homer over the left field wall for the first run of the ballgame. The Cougars offense continued against Oviedo with hits from Jose Herrera and Ryan Dobson, but a couple of fielder's choices forced two outs. Jancarlos Cintron kept the inning alive with an RBI single to plate Jose Caballero. Another Cougar run came home on Wood Myers' error for a 3-0 Cougar lead.
Peoria's only run of the series came home against the Cougar bullpen, but it was an unearned run charged to Rafael Pujols. The right-handed reliever only allowed that one run before a perfect seventh and exiting in the eighth. Kyler Stout took the mound in the eighth inheriting runners at the corners and looking for the five-out save. Stout used two pitches to end the inning with a 6-4-3 double play.
Peoria threatened again in the ninth inning against Stout with a leadoff single from Julio Rodriguez and a one-out walk from Brandon Benson. Stout came back with a strikeout to Nick Plummer. Stout finished the game, punching out Andres Luna to seal his fifth save of the year. Pujols earned his second hold of the year.
A sweep is in reach of the Cougars in Friday's finale against Peoria. Right-hander Jayson McKinley (8-4, 3.47) will take the mound against Peoria's Alvaro Seijas (5-7, 4.15). First pitch from Dozer Park is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Coverage on AM 1280 WBIG and kccougars.com begins at 6:15 p.m.
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