The Cougars took care of business in the first game with a 12-hit performance, pounding out a 9-3 win, but the homestanding Chargers came from behind twice in the second game to squeeze out a win and gain a split of the day’s activities by a final score of 8-7.
The Cougars wasted no time pushing a run across in their opening at bat in the top of the first inning. Jammer Strickland got plunked, stole second and later scored on a passed ball for a 1-0 lead.
The visitors put the game out of reach with four big runs in the third and four more in the fourth. Keith Buckhault knocked in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a double while Evan Speicher, Jake Wright and Dalton Rogers all plated runs to help the Cougars to a 9-0 lead.
The Chargers scored twice in their half of the fourth on a pair of Cougar miscues and added another run in the sixth on a bases loaded walk.
Josh Morgan picked up the win on the mound for the Cougars (3-1) while Jordan Whitmire and Kevin Carr pitched in relief. John Hood took the loss for the Chargers with Tyler Elwer and Mitchell Mannino tossing in relief.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair. The Cougars struck first when Speicher singled in a run. Chris Caffrey plated another with a fly ball. The Chargers came right back to tie the game in their half of the first with a pair of runs.
The Cougars scored two more times in the second when Strickland singled in a run. Zach Janes drew a walk to start the top of the fourth, stole second and third and scored on a fly ball from Strickland to give the visitors a 5-2 lead.
Dalton Geekie and Blake Oxenrider singled in two runs apiece for the Chargers in the bottom of the fourth to give the home team its first lead of the day, 6-5.
The Cougars regained the lead in the fifth as Wright Hacket singled in a pair of runs, but the Chargers countered in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs on a single and a throwing error for an 8-7 lead.
Mikhail Cazenave got the final three outs to pick up the win for the Chargers while Matt Allen suffered the loss for the Cougars. Jake Wright, Gabe Rich, Raunel Perez and Brandon Leonard all pitched for Cleveland State.
The Cougars will try for a twin bill Saturday at noon and a single game Sunday when Vincennes University comes to Cougar Field.