The River Bandits (13-8) scored three runs in the final frame, but lost the series opener to the Loons (11-11) by a score of 10-6 to 3,972 fans at Modern Woodmen Park on Sunday afternoon.
Teoscar Hernandez drilled a double to bring in Joyce for the Bandits' fourth run to spark the 3-run final frame. Carlos Correa followed with a walk, and Austin 'Catfish' Elkins notched a RBI-single to left to score Hernandez. Correa over slid third base on the relay throw from Elkins' single, but avoided the tag of third baseman Paul Hoenecke to get back safely. Great Lakes manager Razor Shines ran out to argue the call by base umpire Jeff Andrews and was ejected moments later. A sacrifice fly from Miles Hamblin in the next at-bat drove in Correa for the Bandits' final run.
The River Bandits infield made history in the second inning, turning a triple play to spoil back-to-singles by the Loons. With runners on first and second, third baseman Ruiz fielded a hard ground ball off the bat of Dashenko Ricardo, stepped on third, fired to second baseman Elkins at second, who launched a bullet to first baseman Hamblin for the 5-4-3 triple play. The River Bandits, then the Swing, tallied two triple plays in the 2007 season, on May 31 and June 16.
Six consecutive hits to start the fourth inning brought in four runs for the Loons. Bandits' skipper Omar Lopez went to the bullpen to bring in southpaw Mitchell Lambson with one away and a man on first. Lambson, in his first outing since April 20 at Kane County, quickly got Jesmuel Valentin and Malcolm Holland to fly out to left to end the inning.
Ruiz ripped a double off the wall in left, missing his second home run of the year by a couple feet, to kick off the Quad Cities' fifth. Ryan Dineen would drive him in two batters later with a base hit for the Bandits' first run on Loons' starter Carlos Frias.
Jordan Scott lined a single up the middle, that knocked off pitcher Jonathan Martinez's glove on its way to center field to drive in Dineen for the Bandits' third run in the seventh. Dineen walked to begin the frame and advanced to second on a dropped double-play attempt by second baseman Valentin, allowing Terrell Joyce to reach first. Hernandez' sacrifice bunt put Joyce and Scott in scoring position with one out, but Martinez struck out Correa and Elkins to end the inning.
Great Lakes picked up three additional runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to extend their lead to seven runs. Every Loons starter recorded a hit in the contest.
Colton Cain (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing four runs on 10 hits in three and one-third innings as the Bandits' first of two starters. Lambson allowed one hit in two and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief. Mike Hauschild allowed three runs on three hits in three innings as the scheduled second starter.
Frias (3-0) gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits, walked two, hit two and struck out six in five and two-thirds innings to earn the win.
Left-hander Brian Holmes (1-2) and right-hander Jordan Jankowski (0-0) will toe the rubber for Quad Cities against Lyndsey Caughel (0-1) and Great Lakes in game two of the three-game set at Modern Woodmen Park. Holmes is scheduled to deliver the first pitch at 11:00 a.m.
Lance McCullers Jr. and Daniel Minor allowed one run in eight innings as the Bandits defeated the Lugnuts in the series finale by a 3-2 score in front of 2,387 fans at Modern Woodmen Park on Saturday night.
Jorge Flores started the game with a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a throwing error by pitcher McCullers, attempting to pickoff the Lugnuts' designated hitter. Two batters later Christian Lopes knocked a single to drive in Flores for the Saturday's first run.
Jordan Scott became the Bandits' first runner in scoring position with a 2-out triple that split the gap between right-center in the third frame. A 55-foot pitch by Lugnuts' starter Javier Avendano got away from catcher Aaron Munoz, but the backstop was able to recover in time to catch Scott in a rundown with third baseman Gustavo Pierre for the final out of the inning.
The Bandits evened up the game in the fifth. Rio Ruiz was issued a walk by Avendano with two outs and advanced to second on a wild pitch by the 22-year-old Lugnuts' hurler. Roberto Pena followed with a chopping ground ball to shortstop Shane Opitz, who threw low to first baseman Kellen Sweeney allowing Ruiz to score and Pena to take first on the error. Opitz began the contest as the Lansing first baseman, but moved over to the shortstop slot in the fourth inning as starting shortstop Emilio Guerrero exited the game. Guerrero was struck on the left wrist on a fastball from McCullers in the second inning.
Miles Hamblin collected his first Midwest League hit with a seventh-inning leadoff double down the line in right and came around to score a RBI-double off the bat of Pena to give Quad Cities their first lead of the game. Pena advanced to third on a fielding error by third baseman Pierre that landed Terrell Joyce on first base. With one out in the inning Scott popped up a would-be sacrifice bunt to pitcher Tucker Donahue and Teoscar Hernandez flew out to center to end the frame.
Jesse Wierzbicki drove in his team-leading 17th run with a groundout to Pierre that scored Austin Elkins from third in the eighth inning. Elkins reached on an error by the second baseman Lopes earlier in the inning.
Minor (2-0) delivered three scoreless innings and struck out five to earn the win as the second starter for the River Bandits. John Neely allowed one run on three hits in the ninth, but escaped a bases loaded jam to collect his third save of the season. McCullers allowed an unearned run on two hits, walked one and struck out five in five innings as the Bandits' first starter.
Donahue (0-1) surrendered the go-ahead run in the seventh and suffered the loss. Avendano surrendered a hit and an unearned run, while issuing four walks and fanning five Bandits in five and two-thirds innings.
Pena was 1-for-2 in catching would-be base stealers tonight, gunning down Gustavo Pierre in the third inning. The Bandits' backstop, the top ranked defensive catcher in the Astros system according to Baseball America, is 9-for-13 (.692) in catching base runners this season.