GENEVA – The Cougars were 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader with Bowling Green.
One hit was all the Cougars needed to walk off with a 4-2 victory.
Left fielder Rock Shoulders delighted his teammates and the Cougars’ fans at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark by hitting a two-strike, two-out, two-run homer just inside the right-field foul pole in the bottom of the 11th inning.
“I was battling the whole at-bat and I was just trying to get something I could hit hard,” Shoulders said. “I’d been hitting the ball hard all day, but right at people. I was just trying to keep the inning going. He came in with a fastball and I just made good connection with it.”
Kane County (12-13) won the nightcap, 3-1, to sweep the doubleheader and the three-game series.
The left-handed hitting Shoulders belted the home run off Hot Rods lefty Jordan Harrison (0-1). Shoulders is hitting .310 against lefties.
“So far this season I’ve been doing pretty good against them,” Shoulders said modestly.
The homer, though, was his first of the year against left-handed pitching. Overall, he’s hitting .366 with six home runs and 20 RBIs.
Shoulders shattered a bat on a hit that went foul on the pitch before hitting the game-winner.
“I was actually using [Dan] Vogelbach’s bat,” Shoulders said. “I probably owe him a bat. But I think the next [swing] made up for it.”
Shoulders’ round-tripper made a winner out of Matt Iannazzo (1-1), who threw three scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit. He walked two and struck out four.
The Cougars scored unearned runs in the first and fifth innings to stake starter Tayler Scott to a 2-0 lead. Scott gave up only one hit in the first five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth, when Bowling Green (18-9) put four hits together to score a pair of runs. Steve Perakslis got the final out of the inning and pitched two more innings of scoreless relief without surrendering a hit.
Shoulders ripped a game-tying RBI double in the second inning of the nightcap and the Cougars added an unearned run in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead. Bijan Rademacher’s RBI hit in the sixth provided an insurance run for Brian Smith (2-1), who pitched 21/3 scoreless innings of relief in support of starter Ian Dickson.
Shoulders nabs Cubs minor league award: The parent Cubs named Shoulders the organization’s Minor League Player of the Month for April.
Shoulders batted .370 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 22 April games. Thirteen of his 30 hits went for extra bases.
“I’m just blessed to be named the Minor League Player of the Month. It’s always an honor to get something like that,” Shoulders said.
• Chronicle reporter Kevin Druley contributed to this report.