BURLINGTON, Iowa – Dan Vogelbach’s first-inning home run put the Kane County Cougars on top, and they never looked back as they were in front throughout an 8-6 victory over the Burlington Bees on Wednesday night at Community Field.
Vogelbach’s blast came in the first inning with Albert Almora at first after he singled against starter Aaron Newcomb (1-4). Newcomb only lasted 2 2/3 innings as he coughed up three more in the top of the first with Jeimer Candelario knocking home Oliver Zapata with a base hit.
Pierce Johnson (4-4) worked five innings but allowed the Bees (22-31) to draw within one before he exited. Sherman Johnson smoked a pair of solo homers to right while Burlington cashed in two unearned runs on a Zapata error in the fourth inning.
Three consecutive extra-base hits gave the Cougars (26-30) two runs in the sixth off Eduard Santos. Carlos Escobar doubled and scored on a triple from Marco Hernandez. Zapata doubled to bring home Hernandez, handing the visitors a 7-4 lead.
Anthony Bemboom cracked a two-run homer against Eddie Orozco in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 7-6 contest, but Orozco tossed a scoreless seventh before Felix Pena (S, 1) returned from the disabled list to record the final six outs.
Rock Shoulders capped the scoring with a sac fly in the top of the ninth.
Also, Reggie Golden drove home a pair with his second knock of the night.
The Cougars and Bees battle in Game 2 of their three-game set at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Community Field. Right-hander Jose Rosario (0-1) starts for the Cougars against lefty Ryan Crowley (4-1). The Cougars return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Earlier Wednesday, Vogelbach was named the starting designated hitter for the Western Division at the June 18 Midwest League All-Star Game at Dayton.
He’ll be joined by five teammates: reserves Bijan Rademacher (outfield) and Rock Shoulders, along with pitchers Tayler Scott, Nathan Dorris and Felix Pena.
Shoulders entered play Wednesday with a league-leading 12 home runs, while Dorris, a hard-throwing lefty, had compiled a 2.52 ERA in 14 appearances.
Krol makes MLB debut: Former Cougars lefty Ian Krol, a Neuqua Valley product, made his Major League debut for the Washington Nationals in Wednesday’s 10-1 home loss to the New York Mets.
Krol worked around a leadoff double and wild pitch to strike out the side in a scoreless sixth, fanning Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda – New York’s No. 2, 3 and 4 hitters.
Krol was a MWL All-Star in 2010.