The Cougars picked up the season right where they left off as they started off the second half with a 7-0 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels in a rain-shortened game Thursday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. The Cougars (46-25) saw all their runs come with two outs in the third inning as the Kernels (31-40) had trouble finding the scoreboard all day.
Aaron Slegers' night was perfect until Trey Matin recorded the first Cougar hit with a triple to left-center field. Martin's three-bagger was surpassed by Jake Hannemann's inside the park home run one batter later. Hannemann's round tripper was the first of its' kind for the Cougars' and his third home run of the year. The Cougars' did not stop there as they combined for four straight singles, including Kyle Schwarber's first hit and RBI as a member of the Cougars. Jacob Rogers provided a double to score Ben Carhart for a 5-0 Cougars' lead. Daniel Lockhart capped off the seven-run frame with a two-run single to plate Yasiel Balaguert and Rogers.
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Daury Torrez (7-3) tossed five solid innings and would have gone longer if not for the rain. The Cougars' right-hander allowed just three hits no walks and struck out one in his five-inning scoreless effort for the win.
Slegers (5-4) suffered the loss.
The series continues Friday with Juan Paniagua (3-3, 3.25) on the mound for the Cougars against Cedar Rapids' left-hander Lewis Thorpe (0-1, 7.27). First pitch at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.