Cougars Go Deep to Beat Bees
Geneva, IL (June 25, 2007) - The Kane County Cougars (2-3, 26-48) hit a season-high four home runs and a season-high 16 hits to beat the Burlington Bees (3-2, 33-41) 11-2 at Elfstrom Stadium tonight. Haas Pratt hit two home runs and drove in four to lead the Cougars' attack.
Each team got on the board with a run in the second inning. Brady Everett singled, went to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a flyout, and scored on a base hit by Michael Thompson. The Cougars answered with three straight hits to start the bottom of the second inning to produce the game-tying run. Sammy Hernandez had the third hit to drive in Jermaine Mitchell.
The third inning was the turning point of the game. Jase Turner and Derrick Robinson opened the inning with singles against Cougars' starter Scott Deal, but Deal got out of the jam thanks to some great defense. Ramiro Mendez made a diving catch on a sinking line drive off the bat of Kurt Mertins and Mike Affronti made a diving stop up the middle on a ground ball off the bat of Jeff Bianchi and flipped the ball from his glove to second to start an inning-ending double play.
The Cougars then went back to work against Bees' starter Everett Teaford in the bottom of the third. Mike Massaro led off with a double, Affronti was hit by a pitch, and Greg Dowling doubled to drive in a Massaro for a 2-1 Cougars' lead. Mendez drove in Affronti with a groundout and Pratt finished the three-run inning with a sacrifice fly to right. Everett (3-7) worked a scoreless fourth, but didn't make it out of the fifth. After striking out Affronti, Dowling lined a solo home run to right-center to go 3-3 against Teaford, his former teammate at Georgia Southern University. After a base hit by Mendez, Pratt launched a towering home run to left-center to extend the lead to 7-1. Jermaine Mitchell reached on his third infield hit of the night and stole second. Teaford reached his pitch limit while getting Matt Smith to fly out for the second out of the inning and Jim Wladyka came in out of the bullpen. Sammy Hernandez greeted Wladyka with an RBI double and Alex Valdez connected on the Cougars' third home run of the inning to cap the six-run rally and give the Cougars a 10-1 lead. Wladyka finished the final 3.1 innings on the mound and allowed one more run when Pratt hit his second home run of the game over the picnic deck in left field.
Deal (4-5) took advantage of all the offense and went the distance for his first career complete game. The Bees added one more run in the seventh. Joe Dickerson led off with a single and scored on a two-out hit by Felix Peralta. The Bees did rack up nine hits, including three singles from Jase Turner out of the number nine spot in the batting order.
The Bees and Cougars continue this series tomorrow night at 6:30 at Elfstrom Stadium. RH Mario Santiago (1-5, 2.76) will start for the Bees against RH Andrew Bailey (1-4, 4.03) for the Cougars. The game will be broadcast live on KBUR AM 1490 and KBKB AM 1360 with the pre-game show starting at 6:10.
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