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 Kane County Cougars

Cougars Fall in Tight One

May 18, 2024 - American Association (AA)
Kane County Cougars News Release

GENEVA, Ill. - In a thrilling, back-and-forth ballgame, the Kane County Cougars ultimately fell 9-8 to the Milwaukee Milkmen in front of 8,734 fans on Saturday night at Northwestern Medicine Field.

For a second straight game, the Cougars jumped out to an early lead. In the bottom of the first, Armond Upshaw led off the game with a single to left field off Milwaukee starter Juan Echevarria. Two batters later, Je'Von Ward worked a walk to put runners at first and second. Later in the inning, Todd Lott smacked a double off the wall in left field to score both runners and put the Cougars up 2-0.

One inning later, the Cougars added to the lead. To lead off the second, Claudio Finol launched a solo homer over the left field wall to make it a 3-0 Cougars edge.

The Milkmen quickly struck back against Kane County starter Tommy Sommer in the bottom of the third. To start the frame, Wendell Marrero singled and Abdiel Layer was hit by a pitch. Then, Jaylin Davis belted a three-run homer to tie the score at three.

After the Milkmen tied it, the Cougars went right back in front in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Todd Lott singled and Josh Allen was hit by a pitch. Finol was up next and promptly lined a single back through the middle to score both runners and make it a 5-3 Kane County lead.

However, the Milkmen went on to score the next six runs. In the fourth, Oscar Santos launched a solo homer to pull Milwaukee within a run. Two innings later, Santos belted another home run, this one a two-run shot off Cougars' reliever AJ Jones (0-1) that made it 6-5 Milkmen. In the seventh, Armani Smith smacked a two-run triple into the right-center field gap that pushed the lead to 8-5. Milwaukee added another run on a Santos single to go up 9-5. Santos finished the night 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Cougars mounted a furious rally. With one out, Josh Allen belted a solo homer to left field to pull the Cougars within three. Following Allen's blast, Finol and Hayden Dunhurst singled before Galli Cribbs Jr. worked a walk to load the bases. Armond Upshaw then poked a two-run single through the left side to make it a 9-8 ballgame.

Kane County had one more chance in the bottom of the ninth against Milwaukee closer Victor Capellan. With one out in the frame, Lott singled into center field for his fourth hit of the night. Then, Josh Allen walked to put the potential go-ahead run aboard. However, Capellan induced a pair of fly outs from Finol and Dunhurst to end the ballgame. Rodrigo Benoit (1-2) earned the win for Milwaukee with two scoreless innings of relief in the fifth and sixth.

The Cougars conclude the series with the Milkmen tomorrow afternoon at Northwestern Medicine Field. Left-hander Shane Barringer (0-0, 2.46) takes the mound for Milwaukee against Cougars' right-hander Nick Belzer (0-0, 1.50). Tomorrow's game is Stroke Awareness Day at the ballpark. For tickets and more information call 630-232-8811 or visit

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