Results tagged ‘ Kane County ’

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

9/7 Minor matters – Saturday’s games

Daytona scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth on Wilson Contreras’ home run to beat Fort Myers, 8-7, in Game 3 of the FSL championship. Fort Myers leads the best of five series, 2-1. Contreras was 3-for-3 with a double as well as his home run. Ben Carhart and Billy McKinney each had two hits.

Kane County scored four runs in the final three innings to beat Cedar Rapids, 5-2. The Cougars are one win away from advancing to the Midwest League championship, and play host to Cedar Rapids today. Mark Zagunis had two hits, including a solo home run in the ninth. Michael Heesch picked up the win in relief.

9/6 Minor matters – Friday’s games

* Daytona lost, 5-0, to Fort Myers in the second game of the best of five Florida State League championship. Justin Amlung took the loss, giving up three runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings. Wes Darvill, Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya each had two hits. Daytona left 12 runners on base and went 0-for-9 with RISP.

* Kane County faced Cedar Rapids in the second round of the Midwest League playoffs.

8/25 Kane County’s Johnson honored

Kane County’s Mark Johnson was named the Midwest League manager of the year on Monday. Johnson has guided the Cougars to an 86-46 record this season, the best mark among all Major League and Minor League teams.

The Cougars are three wins away from breaking the mark for most regular season wins in franchise history. Entering play Monday, there were eight games remaining. Under Johnson, the Class A team clinched the Western Division first half championship and will play in September’s Midwest League playoffs as the top seed.

Johnson has had to deal with plenty of roster turnover. The Cougars have lost 15 of the 25 players on their April Opening Day roster. This is his fourth season as a manager in the Cubs’ system. Johnson made his Kane County managerial debut last season and prior to that, skippered the Short-A Boise Hawks in 2011 and 2012. The ’12 Hawks advanced to the Northwest League Championship Series. Johnson enjoyed 17 professional seasons (1994-2010) on the field including 332 Major League games with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.

8/22 Kane County sets mark

Class A Kane County set a single-season franchise record for home wins following Thursday’s 7-3 victory over Clinton, which was their 51st at home. The Cougars have surpassed the 2001 team which compiled a 50-20 home mark en route to winning the Midwest League championship. The Cougars have now won 84 games this season and are 51-15 at home, which leads both Major League and Minor League Baseball. With 11 regular season games remaining, the Cougars must win five more games to break the franchise record for most wins in a season, set by the ’01 Cougars which went 88-50 during the regular season. Kane County is riding a season-high 11-game win streak.

* PLAYOFF TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Fans can purchase tickets for the Cougars’ first home playoff game, to be held at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. CT. That will be Game 2 of a best-of-three series in the Midwest League Playoff’s opening round. The Cougars will play the Western Division second half wild card winner, which will be determined later this season.


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