DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Hitting was not a problem for the Kane County Cougars on Wednesday night, but they did struggle bringing them home. Despite connecting on 11 hits, the Cougars (13-5, 58-30) fell to River Bandits (10-8, 45-42) by a score of 3-1 at Modern Woodmen Park.
Facing a newly added pitcher to the River Bandits' roster in Blaine Sims (1-0), the Cougars had one of their best chances to score in the first inning. A left-handed knuckleballer, Sims loaded the bases with only one out, but got Jeimer Candelario to hit a soft liner to first base and allowed Quad Cities to turn a double play.
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The River Bandits first opened the scoring with two runs on four hits against Cougar starter Daury Torrez (9-4) in the second inning. Torrez's biggest jam came in the fourth with the bases loaded and nobody out. The right-hander was able to surrender just one run as Marc Wik connected on a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 River Bandits lead.
Threatening with base runners in every inning, the Cougars didn't see the scoreboard until the sixth as they forced Sims out of the game, Candelario punched in the first run with an RBI single to plate Kyle Schwarber, who led off with a double. Two batters later Kevin Brown walked to produce a mound visit. Tyler Brunnemann got Carlos Penalver to fly out and the Cougars' threat ended with just one run.
The only inning the Cougars did not record at least one base hit was the top of the ninth where Andrew Walter tossed a perfect inning for his eighth save of the year.
The Cougars and River Bandits will face off for the rubber game on Thursday. Juan Paniagua (5-3, 2.97) will toss for the Cougars against Quad Cities' Kevin Comer (1-1, 4.00). First pitch at Modern Woodmen Park is at 7 p.m.