GENEVA – The Kane County Cougars took game one of a three-game weekend series against the Burlington Bees, 3-2, on Friday as Jordan Hankins came around to score on an error in the 11th inning.
The Cougars scored a pair of runs in the first before their bats were silenced by Burlington pitchers for the next nine-plus innings. In the 11th, Hankins hit a line-shot double to center that one-hopped the wall. After Daniel Lockhart was intentionally walked, David Bote’s slow roller was thrown away by Burlington third baseman Angel Rosa, allowing Hankins to come around to score.
The Burlington error made a winner out of Tyler Bremer, who improved to 3-0 on the year after tossing two shutout innings. Bremer worked out of trouble in the both innings, striking out Mike Fish with runners on first and second in the tenth before inducing Anthony Bemboom to hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the 11th.
Playing on “Star Wars Night” at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, Kane County scored two runs in the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Jake Hannemann walked to lead off the game and came around to score on Burlington shortstop Erick Salcedo’s throwing error. Will Remilard slowly bounced out to second that plated Yasiel Balaguert, who earlier reached on a fielders choice.
Burlington tied the game an inning later as Ranyelmy Mendoza just snuck a Duane Underwood offering over the left field wall to tie the game at 2. Underwood pitched hitless ball over the next three innings before running into trouble in the sixth.
Underwood allowed a leadoff double to Kody Eaves before walking Chad Hinshaw to end the right-hander’s night. Reliever Justin Amlung cleaned up Underwood’s mess, getting a double play and a ground-out to end the inning.
Amlung worked out of trouble again in the eighth, striking out Fish before Remillard gunned down Eaves at third trying to steal to end the inning.
In the ninth, Amlung induced Mendoza to roll into another inning-ending 6-4-3 double play that erased a leadoff single.
After the first, the Cougars only managed to get two runners in scoring position until Jacob Rogers led off the ninth with a walk and eventually ended up on third after a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Lockhart walked and stole second but Bote grounded out to leave the winning run at third.
In the 10th, Trey Martin led off the frame with a sharp single to left and moved to second on a balk. But a Hannemann strikeout and consecutive groundouts from Carlos Penalver and Balaguert ended the threat.
Alan Busenitz took the loss in the 11th after holding the Cougars scoreless in the ninth and 10th.
Underwood worked five-plus innings, giving up just two hits and a pair of earned runs while striking out three. Jacob Rogers finished 1 for 2 for Kane County with a pair of walks.
The win moves the Cougars to a Midwest League-best 19-9 with two more games against Burlington on tap this weekend.