DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Despite collecting 14 hits, the Kane County Cougars left 15 runners on base in a 5-3 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits on Thursday night at Modern Woodmen Park.
Opening the second half of the season, the Cougars (30-37, 0-1) got on the board first. Rock Shoulders walked leading off the top of the second and took third on Marco Hernandez's double. Two batters later, Oliver Zapata put the Cougars on top with a 2-run triple that drove home Shoulders and Hernandez.
Brian Smith (2-2) couldn't keep the lead as the River Bandits (39-31, 1-0) evened the score in the bottom of the second. Rio Ruiz doubled home Roberto Pena and scored on Jeimer Candelario's error. In the third, the River Bandits' Jesse Wierzbicki drove in Teoscar Hernandez with a two-out single.
Ruben Sosa tripled with one out in the fifth and scored on Hernandez's sacrifice fly that put the River Bandits ahead by 2 runs.
Albert Almora's sacrifice fly in the sixth drew the Cougars closer, but Bijan Rademacher was stranded in scoring position when Dan Vogelbach struck out against Vincent Velasquez (5-3). The Cougars were 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
Quad Cities tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Ruiz doubled home Pena against Jose Rosario.
John Neely earned his 11th save with a scoreless ninth.
The Cougars and River Bandits battle in Game 2 of their four-game series today at 7 p.m. Right-hander Tayler Scott (4-2) starts for the Cougars against fellow righty Mike Hauschild (4-1).