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Hello, old friend

Cougars manager Mark Johnson and Beloit pitching coach John Wasdin were Triple-A teammates in the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 2008.

Tuesday's series opener between their clubs at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark offered the latest opportunity for "MJ," a catcher, and "Wazzy," a right-hander, to reunite.

"He's a good guy," Johnson said. "He knows the game and he does a good job with those pitchers over there."

Through Tuesday, the Cougars and Snappers had split six games this season. Kane County holds a 177-173 edge in the all-time series.

Fittingly, Johnson and Wasdin – a veteran of 12 big league seasons with seven clubs – are just as close thanks to their association with Triple-A Memphis.

"He was in the bullpen, he started, he was long relief," said Johnson, a September call-up to St. Louis in 2008. "He came in and threw strikes. What he did his whole career, you know. And he had a good, solid career."

– Kevin Druley,


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