The Cougars celebrating after their victory.

The Cougars completed the sweep of the Quad Cities River Bandits today and here’s how it all happened:

First Inning: Top: No scoring, Angel Baez pitches a 1, 2, 3 inning.

Bottom: No Scoring. Justin Trapp filed out, Alex Llanos singled then stole second, but then Danny Mateo and Jorge Bonifacio struck out to end the inning leaving Llanos stranded at second.

Second Inning: Top: Baez walked two batters but got two more strikeouts and a fly out to keep the River Bandits from scoring.

Bottom: Michael Antonio started the inning with a ground out to third, but then back to back doubles by Dean Espy and Tim Ferguson gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead with 1 out.  Kevin David grounded out to move Ferguson over to third, then Yowill Espinal hits a blooper into right center to score Ferguson. Then Justin Trapp grounded out to end the inning. Cougars  take a 2-0 lead.

Third Inning: Top: Casey Rasmus lead off the inning with a single then stole second. A sacrifice bunt by Matt Williams moved him over to third. Stephen Piscotty doubled, then David Medina singled and scored Piscotty to cut the lead to 2-1. David Bergin hit a double that scored Medina. Then a sacrifice fly by Jeremy Patton scored Bergin to give the River Bandits a 3-2 lead.

Bottom: Alex Llanos led off the inning with a double but was tagged out at third off of Danny Mateo’s single. Then Jorge Bonifacio grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Fourth Inning: Top: No scoring, Baez got his game back together.

Bottom: No scoring, the Cougars went down 1, 2, 3.

Fifth Inning: Top: Another three up three down inning for Angel Baez.

Bottom: RBI doubles by Alex Llanos and Jorge Bonifacio give the Cougars a 4-3 lead.

Sixth Inning: Top: Rudy Brown takes over for Baez and gets a 1, 2, 3, inning in his only inning of work.

Bottom: With two out Dean Espy scored on a fielders choice after a bizarre base running play. Cougars extended their lead to 5-3.

Seventh Inning: Top: Despite a lead-off single, pitcher Andrew Triggs gets the next three batters out.

Bottom: No scoring, Justin Trapp led off the inning with a single but nothing more.

Eighth Inning: Top: No scoring, Rudy Brown took the River Bandits down in order.

Bottom: The Cougars once again go down in numerical order.

Ninth Inning: Malcolm Culver surrenders only one hit in picking up the save for Angel Baez.

Angel Baez pitched a solid five innings despite the rocky third inning. Plus it also helped that the Cougars offense came to life this afternoon. The Cougars hitting game today was led by centerfielder Alex Llanos, he was called into action after Lane Adams got promoted to the next level. Today Llanos went 3 for 4 with a double, 2 stolen bases and scored a run. Baez struck out 4 batters in his five innings of work. It must also be noted that Cougars right fielder Jorge Bonifacio broke out of an o-24 slump with with a huge RBI double in the bottom of the 5th which helped put the Cougars up for good.

After the game I spoke with Alex Llanos and when I asked him about his big day at the plate his said the following through team translator Jack Lopez: “It was all about timing today, I saw a lot of fastballs that were easy to hit. I’m ready for everything”

Cougars manager Brian Buchanan also spoke with me after the game and gave a lot of credit to his pitching staff: “Our pitching was great today. They got outs when they needed to, they threw a lot of strikes, and they kept us in the game.”

Between relievers Rudy Brown, Andrew Triggs, and closer Malcom Culver the Cougars bullpen pitched 4 innings, only walked 1,  only allowed 1 hit, and struck out 4. The bullpen did not allow a single run today.  And now the Cougars have the confidence boost they need and hopefully they will make use of it as they head to Beloit for a four game set which begins tomorrow. The Cougars now seem to be heading in the right direction as they make the push towards the playoffs with just 33 games remaining. Only 14 of those games are at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Here is the box score from today’s game:

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