Some situations in life, whether it is in sports or business or even personal, people would like a do-over or mulligan. The Quad Cities River Bandits would like to forget the series opening loss to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, or simply, have a do-over. Another way they chose to solve the terrible loss was to come back and win the next game, and then, the next game. The River Bandits did just that.
The disastrous first game, 5-14 loss, came mostly in the 4th inning with 9 different Kernels crossing the plate – one crossing twice – for a 10-run explosion. Jordan Jankowski gave up 3 of those runs, and Mitchell Lambson (2-3, 6.95) tried to come in to douse the fire, but he could not get a single out. Lambson left after giving up 6 more runs. Finally, Richard Rodriguez came in to settle the Kernels’ bats, but unfortunately, gave up 1 more before finishing the 4th. The River Bandits had a good offensive strike, but could not rebound from that long 10-run inning. Rio Ruiz, third base, and Roberto Pena, catcher, had two hits each.
In the second game, the River Bandits wasted no time to get back on top by scoring in the first two innings and again in the 4th. Carlos Correa, shortstop, had 3 hits, including a double and home run, and hit 5 runners in, which was over half the runs score in the River Bandits’ 9-5 win over the Kernels. Kernels didn’t help themselves by committing 4 errors in these first four innings. Vincent Velasquez scattered 5 hits in his 4 2/3 innings of work while striking out 3. Jamaine Cotton (1-2, 5.09) was able to secure the win by pitching 3 1/3 more innings, and Gerardo Sanchez finished the final inning by striking out two.
In the final game of this series, the River Bandits’ pitching staff came to play. The four pitchers totaled 10 strikeouts while only giving up 4 hits and a single run in the 6-1 shutdown of the Kernels. Daniel Minor started and put in 3 innings and gave up all the hits and runs, which means Lambson, Lance McCullers (3-4, 1.57), and John Neely combined for 6 innings of work without giving up a hit or run. McCullers pitched 4 of those innings, striking out 5 and walking 2 to pick up the win. Correa had another great game with 2 hits including a double, 2 runs, and 1 run batted in. Jordan Scott, right fielder, hit a triple in the 3rd to send two runners in to score.
The River Bandits remain on the road with a trip to Peoria Chiefs where they will again play against former River Bandit players, because the Chiefs are now affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Saturday night game will start at 6:30pm, Sunday game at 5:00pm, and the Monday night game at 7:00pm. Quad Cities River Bandits are 34-25, just 2.5 games ahead of the Peoria Chiefs at 31-27. The River Bandits lead the series this year, 4-3. Go River Bandits!