Cougars double-up Lansing in opener, 6-3
LANSING - The Kane County Cougars continued their torrid start to the 2008 season Thursday night by taking the series opening game from the Lansing Lugnuts 6-3 before 7,613 fans at Oldsmobile Park. Kane County is now a perfect 8-0 on the road this season and sent the Lugnuts to their first home defeat of the year.
The Cougars snatched the lead in the first frame by tapping Lansing starter Brad Mills for three runs on four hits. Matt Ray singled and scored on Corey Brown's double to left-center field, giving Kane County an early 1-0 lead. Brown would then come home when Greg Dowling laced a double into the right-center field gap. Jake Smith's single moved Dowling to third and he later scored on an RBI groundout by Todd Johnson, making it a 3-0 game.
It would stay a three-run game as Lansing trailed 4-1 in the fifth inning, but the Lugnuts mounted a comeback in the frame to pull within a run. Yohermyn Chavez stood at third base for the Lugnuts when Justin Jackson bounced a single into left field, plating Chavez and making it a 4-2 game. Kevin Ahrens, who entered the game in a 1-for-16 slump, then ripped a triple past the diving Brown in center field to bring Jackson home and make it 4-3.
However the Lugnuts could not put any more runs on the board, allowing Kane County to salt the game away in the seventh when Smith lined a bases loaded single into left field that brought home two runs to make it a 6-3 game.
Lansing had several opportunities throughout the game to add more runs, but grounded into four double plays during the contest. Two of the four ended innings.
Justin Friend (3-0) got the win in relief for the Cougars after tossing 3 1/3 innings and allowing just one run on three hits.
Branden Dewing got the save by retiring the final five batters of the game. It is his second of the season.
Mills (1-1) took the loss for the Lugnuts, surrendering four runs on seven hits in five innings of work.
Lansing (8-6) and Kane County (13-1) will play the second game of the set on Friday night at Oldsmobile Park beginning at 6:05 p.m. Lefty Luis Perez (0-1, 9.82) will take the mound for the Lugnuts, while right-hander Scott Mitchinson (1-0, 2.00) will hurl for the Cougars.
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