GENEVA, Ill.- For the third straight day the Cougars paced for hits in the double-digits to finish off a sweep over the South Bend Silver Hawks. The 9,297 in attendance at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Friday saw the Cougars (22-11, 67-36) improve to 41-12 at home with their 7-2 win over the Silver Hawks (19-14, 59-43).
Ben Wells struggled in his Cougar debut as he loaded the bases in the first inning on three walks, but only surrendered one run in the opening frame. Wells labored through four innings walking five batters, but holding the South Bend offense to just two runs.
Jeffrey Baez brought home the Cougars' first run with a sacrifice fly to center field in the second inning. The run-scoring play was Baez's first as a member of the Cougars. The team added to its lead in the third beginning with back-to-back doubles from Trey Martin and Shawon Dunston Jr. A few batter later, Jeimer Candelario placed a two-run single into left making it 4-2 Cougars.
In the fifth, South Bend's starter Blake Perry (5-3) found more trouble when he loaded the bases before being pulled for reliever Tom Jameson. Candelario greeted Jameson with another two-run hit before Kevin Brown made it 7-2 Cougars with a sacrifice fly.
The bullpen took over for both sides after that as Michael Wagner (2-2) tossed three shutout frames, before Zak Hermans' scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
The Cougars now welcome in the West Michigan Whitecaps for a three-game series beginning on Saturday. Paul Blackburn (8-3, 3.14) will reset the Cougars' rotation against West Michigan's Austin Kubitza's (8-1, 2.38). First pitch at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark is at 6:30 p.m. For tickets call 630-232-8811 or visit kccougars.com.