Kuilan's Blast Powers Cougars Past Lansing
Bush, Joe, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Joe Bush Daily Herald Sports Writer
With two Cougars on base and two outs in the sixth inning of a 1-1 tie Sunday, Kane County catcher Hector Kuilan stepped into the batters' box and felt right at home.
The Lansing reliever was Jose Santiago, a pitcher Kuilan knew well from their native Puerto Rico. On an 0-2 count, Kuilan was pretty sure what Santiago would throw.
"I was waiting for the slider," Kuilan said. "He threw the slider, and I hit the ball."
It was home, sweet home after Kuilan golfed the expected offering over the left-field wall to bring home shortstop Walter White and first baseman Nate Rolison for a 4-1 Cougars lead.
Kane County held on for a 5-3 win in front of 6,320 fans at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva. The victory was the Cougars' second straight and evened their record at 14-14.
Kuilan has been a defensive specialist; he threw out 48.1 percent of potential base stealers in 1995, and is at 50 percent thus far in 1996. The homer was his first professionally, and though Kuilan's play in the field is his ticket up the ladder, Cougars manager Lynn Jones says the 1994 eighth-round pick is no all-glove, no-hit player.
"He certainly has some power, without a doubt, and he's going to hit a lot of home runs in his career, but he's gotta stay within himself," Jones said. …