|COUGARS LEAVE BANDITS IN THE COLD IN OPENER|
|News Releases - Sports & Recreation|
|Written by Marco LaNave|
|Monday, 07 April 2014 09:05|
Four players have multi-hit games for Quad Cities, but Kane County spoils home opener, 8-4
DAVENPORT, Iowa (April 3, 2014) – After scoring twice in the top of the first inning, the Kane County Cougars never lost the lead, as their pitchers combined to shut out the Quad Cities River Bandits over the last six innings in an 8-4 final in front of 1,821 at Modern Woodmen Park Thursday night.
Cougars center fielder Jake Hannemann lined the first pitch of the season from right-hander Andrew Thurman (0-1) back to the mound, and it deflected off Thurman for a leadoff infield single. After a one-out walk by designated hitter Ben Carhart, Cougars right fielder Yasiel Balaguert began his four-hit Midwest League debut with an RBI double to right field. An infield groundout by first baseman Jacob Rogers brought home Carhart for a 2-0 lead.
Quad Cities (0-1) started quickly in the bottom of the first against right-hander Paul Blackburn. Center fielder James Ramsay and right fielder Brett Phillips had back-to-back singles, but only Ramsay scored in an inning stifled by three groundouts.
With a 2-1 lead, Kane County (1-0) rallied again in the second inning against Thurman. Left fielder Trey Martin drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and advanced to third on the first of three throwing errors by River Bandits catcher Jobduan Morales. Cougars shortstop Carlos Penalver knocked in Martin with a single and Hannemann followed with another single. Second baseman Daniel Lockhart's sacrifice fly and Carhart's single brought home two runs for a 5-1 lead.
On a night when the River Bandits left a runner on base in every inning – and one in scoring position each of the first eight – their best rally came in the bottom of the third inning. Phillips hit a leadoff single and stole second base. With two outs, designated hitter Chase McDonald drove an RBI double to the right-center field gap. After left fielder Jon Kemmer singled, Austin “Catfish” Elkins laced a sharp ground ball down the first-base line to score McDonald and Kemmer to cut the lead to 5-4.
After Elkins' triple however, the Cougars pitching staff evaded trouble the rest of the night. Blackburn lasted four innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs. Left-hander Nathan Dorris (1-0) and right-hander James Pugliese each tossed two scoreless innings, and right-hander Jose Arias worked around a walk in the ninth inning to finish the Cougars' second Opening Day win the last three seasons at Modern Woodmen Park. The road team has won the two teams' Opening Day meetings three straight years.
The Cougars gained breathing room with single runs in the fourth, seventh and ninth innings against the River Bandits. Thurman allowed six runs – five earned – on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts in a four-inning start. Right-hander Zach Morton worked a scoreless fifth inning, before left-hander Chris Lee and right-hander Tyler Brunnemann each had two-inning, one-run appearances.
Each team had 11 hits Thursday, but Quad Cities went 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
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