Baseball: Jacob Rogers’ two-run homer sparks Cougars to comeback win over Quad Cities

Shawon Dunston of the Kane County Cougars bunts for a base hit against Quad-Cities on Tuesday night, August 12, 2014.
Shawon Dunston of the Kane County Cougars bunts for a base hit against Quad-Cities on Tuesday night, August 12, 2014. | Jon Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

COUGARS 4, QUAD CITIES 3

Recap: The Cougars were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the ninth before one of the most bizarre-ever endings. Jacob Rogers’ two-run homer got the comeback started. Danny Lockhart’s single that fell between two outfielders capped it. Quad Cities lost two balls in the lights and committed two other errors in the inning.

Cougars record: 75-45, 30-20 in second half.

Up next: Quad Cities (Andrew Thurman 5-7) at Kane County (Paul Blackburn 9-4), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, WBIG-AM (1280), (kccougars.comkccougars.com)

Cougars manager Mark Johnson has seen a lot of baseball in his 38 years on this earth, but even he was at a loss after his team’s wild, 4-3 comeback win Tuesday night over Quad Cities.

“That was crazy,” Johnson said. “That was unbelievable. I haven’t seen anything like that.”

The Cougars (75-45, 30-20 second half) were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the ninth. An error got things started and Jacob Rogers followed with a two-run homer into the right-field deck to cut the lead to 3-2.

“Right after Rogers hit that home run, that was huge for us,” Cougars shortstop Danny Lockhart said. “We knew with no outs, we were only down one, we did that 100 times this year. That was the biggest momentum shift in the game.”

Then, things got really strange.

Cael Brockmeyer hit a routine pop-up to second that fell harmlessly to the ground. Then Jeimer Candelario hit one to right-center only to see center fielder James Ramsay and right fielder Ryan Bottger collide with one another, putting runners on first and second with no out.

Chesny Young’s sacrifice bunt moved them to scoring position, with Brockmeyer scoring on a Frederick Tibercio wild pitch to tie the game at 3-3.

Quad Cities (60-59, 25-25) opted to walk both Jeffrey Baez and Trey Martin intentionally to load the bases. Shawon Dunston Jr. struck out for the second out, leaving things up to Lockhart, who had struck out three times in the game.

“Really, just put it in play,” Lockhart said of his mentality going into the at-bat. “Obviously, everyone saw the inning. Defensively, I was having trouble seeing the ball as well when it went into the air. When you put it in play, you never know what will happen.”

Lockhart did put it into play, to deep left-center. Left fielder Bobby Boyd looked at Ramsay the whole way and neither put a glove on it, though they were both there. That allowed pinch-runner Carlos Penalver to score the winning run in an impossible win in a season filled with so many improbable comebacks.

“It’s kind of strange,” Johnson said. ‘You never know until the last out’s made. I give credit to these guys for not giving up. We caught some breaks, more so at home.

“It’s been crazy at home (45-15 record). There have been a lot of interesting things that have happened this year. It’s been one of those years. It’s not over yet.”

 

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COUGARS 4, QUAD CITIES 3

Recap: The Cougars were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the ninth before one of the most bizarre-ever endings. Jacob Rogers’ two-run homer got the comeback started. Danny Lockhart’s single that fell between two outfielders capped it. Quad Cities lost two balls in the lights and committed two other errors in the inning.

Cougars record: 75-45, 30-20 in second half.

Up next: Quad Cities (Andrew Thurman 5-7) at Kane County (Paul Blackburn 9-4), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, WBIG-AM (1280), (kccougars.comkccougars.com)

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