LANSING, Mich.-It took ten innings for the first run to be put on the scoreboard, but the Cougars gladly took an extra inning victory 3-0 in at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing on Thursday. The Cougars (18-8, 63-33) used a three-run tenth inning to even the series against the Lugnuts (13-13, 45-50).
The Cougars couldn't capitalize on a few chances throughout the ball game, but didn't let a bases-loaded situation slip away in the tenth. After two singles and a walk, Jacob Rogers pulled a groundball past the Lugnuts' first baseman to plate Trey Martin, who started the rally with a leadoff single, and Kevin Brown. Rogers' third hit of the day broke a scoreless tie and gave the Cougars their first lead of the series. Cael Brockmeyer punched in an insurance run two batters later with an RBI single to plate Will Remillard.
Gerardo Concepcion (2-2) walked the leadoff hitter in his first two innings of work, but put away the Lugnuts 1-2-3 in the bottom of the tenth. Concepcion picked up his second win with three shutout innings.
Will Remillard gave the Cougars a chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth with a leadoff double. Shawon Dunston Jr. replaced Remillard on the bases and moved to third on a balk with nobody out. Carlos Penalver bounced a groundball to third base, but Dunston took off for home on Mitch Nay's throw to first. After recording the out, Matt Dean gunned down Dunston at the plate, keeping the game scoreless.
Pitching was easily the story in this ballgame as Duane Underwood tossed his third consecutive quality start with six shutout innings. Cubs' pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa, who came to the Cougars for a rehab stint, walked one batter, but struck out two in a scoreless seventh.
Lansing's starter Brent Powers held the Cougars without a run for five innings before handing the game off to the bullpen. The Lugnuts' relievers kept the game scoreless until Brady Dragmire (3-5) suffered up the three runs in the tenth.
The Cougars and Lugnuts compete for the rubber game on Friday from Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing at 6:05 p.m. It will be a pitching matchup of Tyler Skulina (4-5, 2.93) and Chase De Jong (0-5, 4.86). The game can be heard on AM 1280 WBIG and kccougars.com.