LANSING, Mich. - For the first time in the second half of the 2014 season, the Cougars dropped their second game in a row by falling to the Lansing Lugnuts 8-4 at Cooley Law School Stadium on Wednesday. The Cougars (17-8, 62-33) found themselves down by eight and were never able to come back against the Lugnuts (13-12, 45-49) who moved above .500 with the win.
The Cougars struggled against Lansing's starter Shane Dawson (3-5) all night as the Lugnut lefty tossed six shutout innings allowing just one run and striking out four batters.
Juan Paniagua (6-4) started the game for the Cougars and matched his run total from his last outing in the first inning. The Lugnuts jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame and threatened to score more the rest of Paniagua's outing. Lansing moved further in front in the fifth thanks to Dawel Lugo's two-run home run that made it a 5-0 lead. Corbin Hoffner took over in the sixth, but Lansing continued the offense with another three-run inning. The Lugnuts combined for 15 hits throughout the game.
After being down 8-0, the Cougars scored four unanswered runs the final three frames, but missed some big chances. Shawon Dunston Jr.'s RBI groundout was the only run that came out of a bases-loaded no-out threat. In the eighth the Cougars scored two runs and had runners at the corners, but Scott Silverstein struck out Dunston for the final out of the inning.
The Cougars and Lugnuts will continue the series on Thursday from Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing. Duane Underwood (4-2, 2.59) will take the mound for the Cougars against the Lugnuts' left-hander Brent Powers (2-3, 6.46). First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. the game can be heard on AM 1280 WBIG and kccougars.com.