After losing Saturday night 6-8, the Quad Cities River Bandits shut down the Beloit Snappers in the next two games by allowing the Snappers only 1 run per game. Saturday afternoon’s game resulted in an overwhelming 9-1 win, and Monday night’s game also went to the visiting River Bandits, 4-1.
In the series opener, River Bandits jumped out 2-0 with Carlos Correa doubling a shot to right field, scoring Teoscar Hernandez, and Correa scored on Rio Ruiz’s single. The River Bandits only managed 2 more runners in the next 4 innings before exploding for 2 more runs in the 6th and the 7th. Ruiz smacked a 2-run homer in the 6th, scoring Jesse Wierzbicki, then in the 7th, Jordan Scott singled in Dan Gulbransen followed by Correa singling in Hernandez.
This offense would have been enough to win, but the Snappers hammered relief pitcher Juri Perez (0-2, 4.63 ERA) with 5 hits, 5 runs, and a walk during the 5-run 6th. Starter Chris Devenski gave up 10 hits, 2 runs, and a walk in his 5 innings of work and left the game ahead. Gerardo Sanchez came in to help Perez and finished the game, but the damage was already done.
Sunday afternoon’s game was another offensive explosion, continuing on their success from the night before, but this time, River Bandits’ pitching rose to the occasion. Starter Joe Bircher (2-1, 3.26) shut out the Snappers for 7 innings by only giving up 3 hits and 2 walks. Bircher also struck out 2. Mitchell Lambson finished by giving up 4 hits and a run, while striking out 2.
Leading the offense on Sunday was Hernandez with 3 hits and 3 runs, including 1 double and 1 home run. Rio Ruiz also had 3 hits, including a double and 3 runs batted in.
Monday night, the River Bandits struck first with scoring in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th, while the pitching committee held the Snappers to 9 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, while striking out 10. The committee included starter Colton Cain (5-5, 4.12 ERA), relief pitchers Daniel Minor, Jordan Jankowski, and Juan Minaya (S, 5). Cain gave up the only run in the 5th, but the rest didn’t allow any Snappers to pass 2nd base. River Bandits’ left-fielder Terrell Joyce led batters with 2 hits and 2 runs scored.
Taking the series away from the Snappers allowed the River Bandits to pass them into 2nd place in the Midwest Western Division, behind Cedar Rapids Kernels by 4.5 games. The River Bandits return home tonight to face Peoria Chiefs for 4 games through Friday. The Chiefs lead the series this season 9-5, but the River Bandits have been on fire lately. Go River Bandits!