All of the home offense came in one inning at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, but that is all that was needed for the Cougars (23-17, 68-42). 9,451 witnessed the Cougars' 6-2 win over the River Bandits (21-19, 56-53) Friday evening that snapped a three-game losing streak.
Quickly loading the bases, the Cougars jumped out to an early lead the in the second inning. Carlos Penalver's ground ball was set up to be a double-play, but Thomas Lindauer's errant throw brought home 2 runs and continued the inning with nobody out. Trey Martin pounced on the first pitch he saw to drive home 2 more runs with a single to right field. A few batters later Ben Carhart bounced a groundball for a run-scoring groundout. Jacob Rogers finished the scoring with an RBI single, making it 6-0 Cougars.
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The Cougars threatened in other innings, but never found the scoreboard again. Blaine Sims (2-3) left after three innings, not getting much help from his defense.
Tyler Ihrig (1-0) pitched well in his Cougar debut. The left-hander was 2 outs away from a quality outing, but left with a pair of runners on in the sixth inning. Michael Heesch finished off the frame, but pitched his biggest inning in the seventh. After walking the bases loaded, Heesch struck out Chase McDonald to keep it a 4-run lead for the Cougars.
Jose Arias tossed two perfect innings to finish off the Cougars' victory.
The series will continue on Saturday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark as the River Bandits send Kevin Comer (1-2, 4.25) to the mound against newly acquired Jonathon Martinez. Martinez, formerly of the Great Lakes Loon, was the player to be named later in the deal that sent Darwin Barney to the Los Angeles Dodgers.