Results tagged ‘ Kane County ’

9/18 Cubs move to South Bend

The Cubs announced a partnership with South Bend to host their Class A Midwest League affiliate, leaving Kane County after two seasons. The deal with South Bend runs through the 2018 season.

“It’s tough to disappoint those people [in Kane County] and leave but I wouldn’t be doing my job if we weren’t doing the right thing for our players,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Thursday. “One area we don’t mess around with is player development. Our success will be impacted in large part by how we develop our young players and get them ready for the big league level.”

South Bend had been the Diamondbacks affiliate from 2007 through this season.

The Cubs had moved to Kane County because of its proximity to Chicago, and even though the Cougars ownership had promised to make changes that met the Chicago team’s specifications, it wasn’t enough to stay. Epstein knows the news wasn’t well received in Kane County.

“I don’t think in this industry you can avoid looking like ‘bad guys’ and just have to roll with it and make sure you’re making decisions for the right reasons and in this case, we have to do what’s best for our prospects and the organization moving forward,” he said.

South Bend will announce new names, logos and uniforms on Sept. 25, as well as some renovations planned for the facility. The South Bend Silver Hawks won five Midwest League titles and 12 division titles in 26 seasons as an affiliate of the D-backs and the White Sox. The Cubs Kane County team won a franchise record 91 games this year, and went unbeaten in the playoffs to win the Midwest League championship.

Epstein complimented the ownership and staff at Kane County, saying they did a “first class job.”

“The South Bend renovation offers a facility that we feel will make a profound difference for our prospects and that was the key factor in the end,” Epstein said.

— Carrie Muskat

9/18 Cubs switch to South Bend

The Cubs are coming to South Bend. The team announced a partnership with South Bend to host its Class A Midwest League affiliate, a deal that will run through the 2018 season. The Cubs had been in Kane County for the last two years. South Bend was a Diamondbacks affiliate from 2007 until this year.

South Bend will announce new names, logos and uniforms on Sept. 25, and the new team will be hard pressed to match the old one’s success. The South Bend Silver Hawks won five Midwest League titles and 12 division titles in 26 seasons as an affiliate of the D-backs and the White Sox. The Cubs, though, won the Midwest League championship this year with the Kane County team.

— Carrie Muskat

9/15 Champion Cougars


Congratulations again to manager Mark Johnson and his team for winning the Midwest League championship. The team went undefeated in the playoffs.

(photo by Brian Corbin)

9/15 Go Cougars


Kane County Cougars sluggers Jacob Rogers and Jeimer Candelario hoist the Midwest League championship trophy Monday night at Wrigley Field.

(photo by Brian Corbin)

9/13 Kane County wins MWL championship

Jacob Rogers smacked a two-run home run and finished with three RBIs to lead Class A Kane County to a 7-2 win over Lake County and clinch the Midwest League championship.

The Cougars went unbeaten in the postseason. They were 3-0 in the best-of-five championship series to win their first league title since 2001. Kane County also swept Wisconsin in the quarterfinal round and Cedar Rapids in the division championship round.

Daury Torrez held Lake County to one run on five hits over five innings for the win.

Carlos Penalver hit an RBI double in the second to tie the game at 1, and Kane County took a 3-1 lead on Rogers’ homer in the third. Rogers added an RBI single in the fifth. Rogers and Jeimer Candelario collected three hits each.

9/12 Kane County 2-0 in MWL series

Class A Kane County pitchers Duane Underwood and Tyler Ihrig combined for a two-hit shutout Thursday to defeat Lake County, 6-0, in Game 2 of the best of five Midwest League championship series. The Cougars are one win away from clinching the series and winning their first league title since 2001.

Underwood, the Cubs’ second round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, struck out eight and walked five in six hitless innings before Ihrig relieved him to start the seventh. Ihrig extended the no-hit bid for another inning, before Lake County catcher Richard Stock and third baseman Grant Stock opened the eighth with back-to-back singles. But the Captains would do no more damage, and Ihirg finished the game for his second save of the playoffs.

Underwood earned the victory in his second playoff start. The right-hander has a 2.79 ERA and has struck out 11 batters and walked eight in 9 2/3 innings. During the regular season, he went 6-4 with a 2.50 ERA. He struck out 84 batters and walked 36 in 100 2/3 innings.

Designated hitter Mark Zagunis, the Cubs’ third round pick in June’s Draft, went 3-for-5 with a double and a run to lead Kane County’s offense Thursday. Left fielder Shawon Dunston added two hits and three runs.

After a travel day, the championship series moves to Lake County on Saturday for Game 3. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.

9/10 Kane County playoff info

Class A Kane County opens the 2014 Midwest League Championship Series tonight vs. Lake County. Kane County is attempting to win the franchise’s first league title since 2001. The Cougars are unbeaten in postseason play, having swept Wisconsin in the quarterfinal round and Cedar Rapids in the division championship round.

Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-five series will take place at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark Wednesday and Thursday, with both games slated for a 6 p.m. CT start time. Following an off-day on Friday, the series shifts to eastern Ohio for Game 3 on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. If necessary, Games 4 and 5 would take place on Sunday and Monday, respectively, at Lake County. WBIG 1280 AM, as well as will carry the radio broadcasts of the games.

Playoff tickets are available by calling (630) 232-8811 or ordering online at

This is the 14th playoff appearance in the Cougars’ 24-year history, and first trip to the postseason since 2011 and the first league championship series appearance since 2006. The Cougars won the Midwest League Championship in 2001 as the team featured present-day Major League stars such as Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez.

This season’s team, led by Midwest League Manager of the Year Mark Johnson, won 91 games during the regular season, which leads both Major League and Minor League Baseball, while setting a franchise record for most regular season wins. The Cougars clinched the Western Division first half championship in June with a 45-25 first half record and won the second half division championship with a 46-24 mark. Kane County also set a franchise best with 13 consecutive wins, 2.85 team ERA and 54-17 home record this season.

Scouting the Cougars:

The Cougars swept Lake County in a three-game series at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, April 11-13. Pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng will start Wednesday. Yasiel Balaguert went 8-for-12 during the April series against Lake County while pitchers Daury Torrez (expected Game 2 starter) and Duane Underwood (expected Game 3 starter) each made starts against the Captains. Jeimer Candelario is batting .444 in four playoff games while Mark Zagunis is batting .429 in the postseason. This is the fifth LCS appearance for the Cougars (1997, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2014). Probable starters for potential games 4 and 5 would be Paul Blackburn followed by Ben Wells.

Scouting the Captains:

Lake County, located in Eastlake, Ohio, is 4-0 in the playoffs as well, sweeping South Bend in the first round and Fort Wayne in the Eastern Division Championship Series. Lake County’s 27-43 first half record was the worst in the Midwest League’s first half. The team rebounded and went 38-31 in the second half to take the top playoff spot in the division. Lake County was 39-30 at home and 26-44 on the road this season. In four playoff games, Lake County’s team ERA is 1.50. First round pick Bradley Zimmer joined Lake County near the end of the regular season and is batting .375 in the playoffs. Zimmer’s older brother Kyle played with Kane County when the Cougars were affiliated with the Kansas City Royals in 2012. Lake County won the Midwest League championship in 2010 – their first season in the league. Probable starters for the Captains are Mitch Brown, Jordan Milbrath, Anderson Polanco and Luis Lugo for Games 1-4.

Midwest League Championship Round (Best-of-5 series)

Wednesday, Sept. 10 – Lake County at Kane County, 6 p.m. CT
Thursday, Sept. 11 – Lake County at Kane County, 6 p.m. CT
Saturday, Sept. 13 – Kane County at Lake County, 6 p.m. CT
Sunday, Sept. 14 – Kane County at Lake County, 6 p.m. CT
Monday, Sept. 15 – Kane County at Lake County, 6 p.m. CT

9/10 Extra bases

* The Cubs current five-game losing streak is one shy of their season-long six-game losing streak, July 5-9. The Cubs are one loss shy of guaranteeing a fifth-straight season below .500, which would be their first five-season stretch of sub .500 baseball since 1978-83. The Cubs also are three wins away from surpassing their win total from all of last season.

* There are 17 games remaining this season, with all but three of the games against teams in contention for the playoffs.

* Kyle Hendricks gets the start Wednesday. He has a 1.60 ERA (10 ER/56 1/3 IP) in nine starts since the All-Star Break, the fourth-best ERA among starting pitchers in all of baseball since the break and trailing only Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw (1.56 ERA) among all NL starters. Hendricks earned NL Rookie of the Month honors in August after going 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in six starts … he is the first Cubs pitcher to ever be named a Rookie of the Month winner.

* Looking ahead to Cubs vs. Pirates this weekend:

Friday: LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (4-2, 2.95) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (8-5, 3.89)
Saturday: LHP Felix Doubront (1-1, 2.25) vs. LHP Jeff Locke (7-4, 3.60)
Sunday: RHP Jacob Turner (5-9, 5.84) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.36)

* Also, Game 1 of the best-of-five Midwest League championship series between Kane County and Lake County will begin Wednesday night. The Cougars are looking to win their second league championship in franchise history (previously done, 2011).

9/9 Minor matters – Monday’s game

Daytona’s season is over after losing 4-2 in 11 innings Monday to Fort Myers in the Florida State League championship game. Jason Kanzler hit a tie-brekaing two-run homer in the 11th off Daytona’s Stephen Perakslis that was the difference. Dan Vogelbach scored in the fourth on an error, and doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on another error. Vogelbach, who will play in the Arizona Fall League, hit .273.

Kane County faces Lake County in the best of five Midwest League championship series, starting Wednesday at Fifth Third Bank ballpark in Geneva, IL.

9/8 Kane County reaches MWL championship

Class A Kane County advanced to the Midwest League Championship Series after beating Cedar Rapids, 4-2, in the Western Division championship series. Tyler Ihrig picked up the win in relief. Jacob Rogers hit a solo home run in the sixth but Cedar Rapids answered in the seventh with a two-run home run by Chad Christensen. Carlos Penalver put the Cougars ahead with a two-run homer in the seventh. In the eighth, Jeffrey Baez singled, and stole second, then third before scoring on Chesny Young’s single.

The Cougars now will face Lake County, which defeated Fort Wayne. This is Kane County’s first trip to the league championship series since 2006. The Cougars last won the league championship in 2001 when Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez were on the team. The best-of-five series opens Wednesday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

Midwest League Championship Round (Best-of-5 series)
Wednesday: Lake County at Kane County, 6 PM CT
Thursday: Lake County at Kane County, 6 PM CT
Saturday: Kane County at Lake County, 6 PM CT
Sunday: Kane County at Lake County, 6 PM CT
Sept. 15: Kane County at Lake County, 6 PM CT