Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Despite holding the Cedar Rapids Kernels to two runs on five hits on Sunday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Quad Cities River Bandits dropped their series finale, 2-1 and were walked-off in the eleventh inning to lose their third series of the
Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Despite holding the Cedar Rapids Kernels to two runs on five hits on Sunday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Quad Cities River Bandits dropped their series finale, 2-1 and were walked-off in the eleventh inning to lose their third series of the season.
Quad Cities was treated to Noah Murdock’s first scoreless start of the year, as the right-hander allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out six to match a career-high on the bump.
His opposition, Sawyer Gipson-Long matched Murdock inning for inning and even worked his scoreless effort into the sixth, going 5.1 innings and striking out six of his own with no walks.
Despite Murdock’s success, the Kernels were poised to take the first lead of the game in the fifth against him after loading the bases with one out. Christian Chamberlain was the man brought in to relieve the Q.C. starter and kept the game scoreless, forcing Christian Encarnacion-Strand to pop out and striking out Aaron Sabato for his first of five on the afternoon.
After Andrew Cabezas pitched 1.2 perfect innings to keep the Bandits’ offense silent, Miguel Rodriguez came on to pitch the eighth, but after two pitches, saw the scoreless tie end on Cam Williams’ sixth home run of the season, a solo shot to open the scoring and put Quad Cities on top.
In the bottom half of the inning however, newly entered Kasey Kalich gave up a trio of singles to the Kernels, with the third, a towering pop up off the bat of Wander Javier, dropping in between three Bandits defenders for a game-tying RBI knock.
Neither team scored against Cedar Rapids’ Orlando Rodriguez or Kalich in the ninth, with the former being replaced by Bradley Hanner for extras.
Quad Cities worked just a Herard Gonzalez walk against Hanner in the top of the tenth, but Kalich navigated out of a bases loaded jam with back-to-back strikeouts of Sabato and Jair Camargo to push the game to the eleventh.
With Burle Dixon taking over on the base paths as the placed runner instead of catcher Kyle Hayes, a Diego Hernandez bunt moved the go-ahead run to third with one out, but Hanner again left the man aboard, striking out Peyton Wilson and Gonzalez.
In the bottom of the eleventh, Yohanse Morel took over for Quad Cities and, after an intentional walk of Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Will Holland’s sacrifice bunt to move both men into scoring position, Seth Gray walked to the plate to pinch hit for Kennie Taylor, but Brook Conrad intentionally walked him as well to load the bases with one out.
The next man up, Anthony Prato, drove a flyball to deep right field to allow Javier, the placed runner, to score from third and end the game without a throw.
Thanks to 2.0 innings of scoreless relief, Hanner (3-0) got the win for the Kernels in the series clinching effort, while Morel (2-1) got tagged with his first loss of the season after allowing the unearned, game winning-run.
Quad Cities will return home to Davenport on Tuesday to begin their second series of the season against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Game one is scheduled for 6:30pm at Modern Woodmen Park.