The Daytona Cubs needed a miracle to keep their season alive and they got one, beating the Ft. Myers Miracle (Twins), 8-7. They now trail the best-of-five series two games to one.
The Cubs fell behind 6-5 in the eighth inning when Stephen Perakslis allowed a runner inherited from Gerardo Concepcion to score on an dribbler that died for a single in the infield grass down the third base line. But Willson Contreras responded in the bottom of the inning with a three-run home run to give Daytona an 8-6 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Zack Godley was called upon to get the save, but he gave up a one-out solo home run to Dalton Hicks to let Ft. Myers get to within a run. Godley let the potential go-ahead run come to the plate after the next batter singled. But a strikeout and a ground out ended the game and kept the D-Cubs season alive.
Nathan Dorris started this game and allowed three runs on four hits over three innings. He struck out four and walked three.
Concepcion struck out the side in the seventh inning before being charged with an unearned run (albeit because of his own error) in the eighth. He pitched 1+ innings and allowed one hit and one unearned run.
Perakslis got the win. He gave up two hits in his one inning of work. He struck out one and walked no one.
Godley gave up the two hits and a run in the ninth. He struck out two.
Catcher Willson Contreras was the big hero tonight. In addition to his three-run home run in the eighth, he had an RBI double in the third and singled and scored as part of a three-run second inning. Contreras' final line was 3 for 3 with a double, the home run and a walk. He scored two runs and had four RBI.
Right fielder Billy McKinney was 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Third baseman Ben Carhart was 2 for 3 with a walk. Carhart drove home one runner and scored twice.
The two teams will play again tomorrow at 4:35 central time at Daytona's Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Rob Zastryzny is scheduled to pitch for Daytona.
Kane County Cougars
The Kane County Cougars cut down the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins), 5-2.
Daury Torrez has been strong all season, and tonight he turned in another strong performance, allowing only one run over five innings. Torrez gave up seven hits. He struck out five and didn't walk anyone.
Zak Hermans relieved Torrez and got the win when Kane County scored two runs in the top of the seventh. Hermans gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh on a one-out triple, but he struck out one batter with a runner on third and then Michael Heesch got the third out of the seventh inning to preserve the Cougars lead.
The final line on Hermans was one unearned run on one hit over 1.2 innings. Hermans walked one and struck out three.
Heesch allowed one hit but no runs over 1.1 innings. Heesch walked one and struck out one.
Francisco Carrillo struck out all three batters of the ninth inning to get the save.
The Cougars took the lead in the top of the seventh when Kernels second baseman Ryan Walker made an error on a ground ball by Mark Zagunis, allowing Carlos Penalver and Shawon Dunston to score.
In the ninth inning, Zagunis tacked on an insurance run with a solo home run. Zagunis was 2 for 5 with a triple and the home run. He had two RBI.
Penalver was 1 for 3 with a walk. Dunston was 0 for 4 with a walk.
The Cougars now return home to Geneva, needing to win just one of the next two games to advance in this best-of-three series. Paul Blackburn will start for the Cougars tomorrow night at 6:05. Tickets are still available.