GENEVA – For the sixth time in eight seasons as an Oakland A's affiliate, the Kane County Cougars are headed to the playoffs. The Cougars clinched a postseason berth Saturday night with their 6-2 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Beloit's loss against Cedar Rapids. Clinton also lost in Burlington, so the Cougars own the top playoff spot by 1 1/2 games over Clinton with two games to play.
The Cougars, who have won four straight and nine of their last 12, took control of the game with a four-run third inning. With the bases-loaded and no outs, Tyreace House nailed a two-run double and Conner Crumbliss scored on an error to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. House later scampered home from third as the Rattlers threw to first to confirm a strikeout on Leonardo Gil. The Cougars scored two more runs in the fourth, as Jose Crisotomo brought home Jason Christian with an RBI grounder and House singled in Max Stassi to make it 6-1.
Dan Straily (10-7) picked up the win for the Cougars, becoming the 27th pitcher in team history to win 10-plus games in a season. He gave up a run on four hits, walked three and fanned seven over six innings. Ryan Doolittle handled the next two innings, and Kenny Smalley gave up a run in the ninth before striking out Cutter Dykstra to end it.