Kane County Cougars capture Midwest League Championship


The Kane County Cougars capped a spectacular season by winning the Midwest League Championship series Saturday night with a 7-2 victory over the Lake County Captains . It’s was the second in franchise history, and the first as a Cubs affiliate.

After posting a 91-win season, the Cougars rolled through the playoff undefeated, finishing the season with 98 wins. That made them the first professional team at attain the feat this season, and earned Mark Johnson the Midwest League Manager of the Year award. Johnson acknowledged it was a team effort:

"“I give all the credit our staff. Our coaching staff did a great job. Every day, they came in, same routine,” Rogers said. “We did early work for hitting, pitchers went out there and stretched and did their thing, so I give all the credit to them, they kept us on a line and knew what we wanted to do in the end.” h/t Kelsie Heneghan"

The Captains got on the board first with an RBI double from their No. 2 prospect Clint Frazier. Carlos Penalver tied it an inning later with an RBI double of his own. In the third, Jeimer Candelario singled, and Jacob Rogers launched a two-run shot to put the Cougars up for good.

Kane County would add on in the fifth with an RBI single from Rogers. Mark Zagunis and Yasiel Balaguert added RBI singles in the sixth to go with Candelario’s sac fly.

Not long after the celebratory dog-pile took place on the infield. Cubs left fielder Shawon Dunston shared what it meant to him:

"“One of the best feelings I’ve experienced. I’ve never dog-piled in high school or won a section or state title, so I really wanted to win,” Dunston said. “It shows we have a deep system from top to bottom with the Cubs. It brings the best out of you and I’m glad to be a part of the Chicago Cubs system.”"

The Cubs farm system had three teams in the playoffs, Kane County was the only victor. But it speaks to the depth that’s been assembled throughout the farm system, and lends itself well to the Cubs future which is already looking a little brighter with the prospects that have been arriving at Wrigley Field recently.