With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Bobby Borchering of the Quad Cities River Bandits came through with a single to break the tie and sent Carlos Correa in for the winning run. The River Bandits fell behind the visiting Peoria Chiefs, as their offense failed to back up a stellar performance by Houston Astros’ 2013 #1 draft pick, Mark Appel, but the River Bandits turned it on in the 9th.
Appel pitched for 4 2/3 innings, scattering 6 hits and giving up only 1 run. He struck out 3 without a single walk, although he hit former River Bandit Nick Martini in the leg during the 4th inning. In his final inning, 3 straight singles loaded the bases, but then he forced the next two batters to ground out to Correa, and Correa fired it home for the force out – preventing the runners to score both times. Gerardo Sanchez then came in to strike out the side to stop the possible disaster.
Sanchez did surrender 2 runs in the 6th to move the Chiefs ahead 3-0 before the River Bandits woke up and began to come back in the 7th and 9th. Mitchell Lambson (7-3, 3.91 ERA) finished the game by retiring the final 5 Chiefs’ batters for the win.
Scoring finally came in the 7th and 9th for the River Bandits. In the 7th, Terrell Joyce reached on a single, advanced on a fielder’s choice hit by Austin Elkins, then scored when Teoscar Hernandez reached base on a fielding error.
In the 9th, Elkins was hit by a pitch, and after Hernandez struck out, Danry Vasquez hit a 2-run homer to tie the game at 3. Vasquez led the River Bandits with 3 hits, but this final one was the most important. Correa followed with a double, but Dan Gulbransen struck out for out number 2. As mentioned before, Borchering then connected with a walk-off single to score Correa.
Thursday, the River Bandits will play the Chiefs in a double-header to make up for the rained-out game Tuesday night. The 1st game will start at 6:00pm with another top prospect Lance McCullers taking the mound for the River Bandits. The River Bandits climb to only 3 games behind the Cedar Rapids Kernels, who lost to the Burlington Bees, 1-3. Go River Bandits!