Cougars outfielder Trey Martin knows he’s been getting close to finally getting his second home run of the season.
In the eighth inning facing a one-run deficit to Quad Cities Thursday, Martin finally got what he was looking for.
Quad Cities starter Troy Scribner baffled the Cougars all night with an array of breaking pitches and soft offerings, but he finally threw consecutive fastballs to Martin with two on in the eighth and he crushed the game-winning home run to left.
The Cougars won 4-1 for their eighth home sweep of the season and 47th home win in 62 tries.
“It felt good because the past couple of games I’ve been fouling off my pitches and not having good at-bats,” Martin said. “That at-bat, he finally threw back-to-back fastballs. I took the first one and he came back with it and I got a good swing on it.”
Martin’s blast plated Chesny Young and Carlos Penalver to give the Cougars (77-45 overall, 32-20 second half) a 3-1 lead after struggling to get on base much of the game. Victor Caratini added an RBI double in the four-run eighth.
“These guys are a special group of guys,” Cougars manager Mark Johnson said. “They never quit. It doesn’t matter who’s playing. Somebody steps up and does the job.”
Cougars starter Duane Underwood didn’t have his best stuff, but he still managed to grind out five scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, walked four and struck out four, but managed to lower his season ERA to 2.49.
“He was just kind of out of sorts,” Johnson said. “He’s just got to bounce back. He’s been really good the last five or six. At least he competed and got through five.”
Meanwhile, Scribner (0-2) struck out 10 and walked none in 7 1/3 innings as he worked mostly in the 70s or 80s. He didn’t allow a base runner until Young’s two-out single in the fifth.
“We struggled up until (Martin’s home run) to put the bat on the ball,” Johnson said. “He got ahead of guys. He can pitch a little bit. He moved the ball around and changed speeds. We just couldn’t get anything going.”
With his mother in the stands from Canada, Jasvir Rakkar earned his first Cougars win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings. Young was the lone Cougar with multiple hits.
The Cougars head to Appleton, Wis., for a three-game weekend series before returning home to kick off a six-game homestand Monday.
Before the game, Cubs 2014 third-round pick Mike Zagunis joined the club as mainstay and clubhouse leader Ben Carhart was promoted to high-Class A Daytona.Tags: Kane County Cougars
Cougars 4, Quad Cities 1
Recap: The Cougars once again orchestrated a late-game comeback, this time behind a three-run homer from Trey Martin. It was the eighth time this season that the Cougars swept a home series. They are now 47-15 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
Cougars record: 77-45 overall, 32-20 second halfUp next: Kane County (Jonathan Martinez 8-5) at Wisconsin (Zach Quintana 3-5), 7:05 p.m. Friday, WBIG-AM (1280), (kccougars.com)