DAVENPORT, Iowa-- It wasn't the prettiest win, but the Cougars were able to hang on to a 9-5 victory over the River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park on Thursday night.
In a game that featured a rabbit delay, the Cougars (14-5, 59-30) avoided a dramatic comeback by Quad Cities (11-9, 46-43).
The Cougars had an 8-run lead at one point, but Quad Cities slowly started a comeback in the later innings. Corbin Hoffner started the ninth with the Cougars' leading 9-4.
After surrendering 3 straight hits to bring the River Bandits within 4 runs, a pitching change brought Jose Arias in with two on and one out. Brian Holberton was Arias' first batter, and the Cougars' right-hander started the Quad Cities catcher with a 1-2 count.
Play was then interrupted with the presence of a rabbit on the field. The rabbit hopped around the grass and dirt as players tried to force it off the field until it finally exited one of the gates.
The delay worked in Quad Cities favor as Arias walked Holberton to load the bases. Arias struck out Marc Wik and forced pinch hitter Jon Kemmer to ground out to finish off the victory.
Jeimer Candelario provided a big bat Thursday as he provided the first lead with a bases-clearing double in the opening inning. Candelario also homered in the seventh.
Kevin Brown added his second longball as a Cougar when he began the fourth inning with a solo shot. Ben Carhart capped a 3-run sixth with a 2-run single to give the Cougars their biggest lead of 8-0.
Juan Paniagua (6-3) was one out away from a quality outing as he worked 5⅔ innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 6 hits. Four pitchers came to the mound for the Cougars ending with Arias collecting his second save of the year.
Kevin Comer (1-2) had a rough day for Quad Cities as he allowed more runs than innings pitched and handed the ball to the bullpen after the fourth innings.
The Cougars head home to begin a five-game homestand against the Beloit Snappers. Friday's game will feature a pitching matchup of Duane Underwood (3-2, 2.54) against Beloit's Junior Mendez (2-4, 3.99).