River Bandits outslug Rattlers 8-7

DAVENPORT, IA – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers kept coming back, but the Quad Cities River Bandits kept pulling away on Friday night at Modern Woodmen Park.  In the end, Quad Cities defeated the Rattlers 8-7 as both teams missed several opportunities to score a lot more runs.

The River Bandits (12-19) nicked Wisconsin starting pitcher Max Lazar for a run in the bottom of the first.  Tyler Tolbert started the inning with a double.  Then, Diego Hernandez singled and stole second.  Tyler Gentry scored Tolbert and moved Hernandez to third with a ground out to second.  That was all Quad Cities would get in the first as Hernandez was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder to third for the second out.  Lazar got the final out of the first on a force play at second.

Then, the ball started flying out of the ballpark.

Kale Emshoff homered to lead-off the bottom of the second and Quad Cities was up 2-0.

Tyler Black got Wisconsin on the scoreboard when he hit a lead-off home run in the third.

Luca Tresh hit a two-run home run for the River Bandits with two outs in the bottom of the third.

Wes Clark cracked a two-run home run for the Rattlers in the top of the fourth.

Cam Williams hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth for Quad Cities.

The result of the barrage was the River Bandits leading Wisconsin 6-3 heading into the fifth inning.

There was a brief respite in the onslaught by both teams as neither team scored in the fifth. 

Wisconsin (20-11) went back to work with the lumber in the top of the sixth with two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs.

The first run of the inning scored on a wild pitch.  Antonio Piñero drove in the second run with a single.  A walk reloaded the bases.  Then, Zavier Warren grounded into a force play at second base and the game was tied 6-6.

Quad Cities loaded the bases with no out in the bottom of the sixth inning on two singles and a hit batsman against Miguel Guerrero.  Diego Hernandez singled to drive in the go-ahead run and Wisconsin called on reliever Kent Hasler to get out of the jam with no more damage.

Hasler struck out the first two batters and had a 1-2 count on Burle Dixon.  Hasler pitched home and Dixon swung and missed for an apparent strike three to end the inning.  However, a balk was called on Hasler, and the River Bandits scored a very important insurance run.  Hasler would strike out Dixon two pitches later for the final out.

The Timber Rattlers kept trying to comeback.  Tristan Peters moved his on-base streak to 21 games when he started the top of the seventh by beating out an infield single.  Darrien Miller was next, and he collected his fourth single of the game to put runners on the corners.  Clarke followed with an RBI single to pull the Rattlers to within 8-7.

The pressure amped up on the River Bandits after a one-out walk to Ashton McGee loaded the bases.  However, Quad Cities was able to turn a 1-2-3 double play to escape their jam with the lead.

Emilio Marquez entered the game for Quad Cities in the eighth inning and retired all six batters he faced to close out the game and Wisconsin’s six-game winning streak.

Wisconsin manager Joe Ayrault was ejected by base umpire Mitch Trzeciak in the bottom of the third inning after Tolbert was ruled safe on a close pickoff play at second base that would have been the second out of the inning.  Had Tolbert been ruled out, Tresh may not have hit in the third inning.

Miller led Wisconsin’s offense by going 4-for-5 with two runs scored, while Clarke had three RBI for the Rattlers.

Game five of the series is Saturday night.  TJ Shook (2-1, 0.91) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.  Noah Murdock (0-0, 5.09) is set to start for the River Bandits.  Game time is 6:30pm with the radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio set to start at 6:10pm.