The Quad Cities River Bandits (38-31) defeated the Burlington Bees (26-39) in the finale of the first half of the season, by a score of 5-4 to a crowd of 4,235 fans at Modern Woodmen Park on Sunday evening.
For the fourth consecutive game, the Bees were first to the scoreboard. A double, single and a hit batter loaded the bases on Bandit starter Mike Hauschild with no outs in the third. The 23-year-old was then able to force Wade Hinkle to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, which also enabled Wendell Soto to dash home for the game's first run.
Quad Cities answered back with four runs on five hits in the home half of the frame. Jordan Scott drove the first pitch he saw from Bee starter Ryan Crowley into the gap in left-center for a double, advanced 90 feet to third on a sacrifice bunt from Brett Phillips, and scored on a single from Ruben Sosa. Sosa swiped second base, his eighth steal of the season, and scored on a RBI-single from Teoscar Hernandez. A throw from Crowley to first baseman Hinkle attempting to pickoff Hernandez sailed into the Burlington bullpen, allowing Hernandez to go all the way to third on the error. Carlos Correa then drilled a groundball that hit off Crowley's right foot and went back towards the plate, bringing in Hernandez to score on the infield-hit. Two batters later, Roberto Pena ripped a single to left field to score Correa and extend the Bandits' lead to 4-1.
Andrew Ray roped a 2-run single to center field in the fifth to move the Bees to within one run of the River Bandits at 4-3. Chevy Clarke and Soto each singled and scored on the base hit from Ray.
Hernandez hit a groundball through Sherman Johnson's legs at third base to reach first on the error. The 20-year-old Dominican then swiped second base, his team-high 17th of the season, and advanced to third as the throw from the catcher Anthony Bemboom went into center field. A fly ball to straightaway center field from Correa proved deep enough to score Hernandez tagging up from third for the the Bandit's fifth run.
Clarke drew the Bees to within one run with one out in the ninth on a solo home run to the left field berm against right-hander Juan Minaya, but Bulrington would strand a runner on first to end the game.
Hauschild allowed three runs on five hits and fanned two Bees in four and one-third innings. Lefty Mitchell Lambson walked one on his way to recording the final two outs of the fifth inning. Left-hander Colton Cain (3-5) pitched three shutout innings, allowing a lone hit and striking out to earn the win. Minaya collected his first save of the season, after tossing the ninth.
Crowley (6-2) gave up four runs on six hits and struck out three River Bandits in three innings and suffered the loss. Burlington used five pitchers in the contest.
The River Bandits send right-handed pitchers Jordan Jankowski and Lance McCullers, as well as shortstop Correa to the Midwest League All-Star Game in Dayton, Ohio. Correa will be the starting shortstop, while Jankowski and McCullers will be available in the bullpen for the Western All-Stars.