In their first twin bill of the season, the Quad Cities River Bandits road the arms of Asa Lacy and Zach Haake on Wednesday night, as they defeated the Peoria Chiefs in both games at Dozer Park for their ninth and tenth wins of the campaign.
The strikeouts kept coming for the 2020 Draft’s No. 4 overall pick, as Lacy collected two in a one-two-three first inning, before Logan Porter drove in Michael Massey to take a 1-0 lead in game one.
Despite allowing traffic, Lacy navigated safely out of the second and the received another run from the offense when Eric Cole blasted his second home run of the year off of Peoria starter Mac Lardner to expand Quad Cities’ lead to 2-0.
Lacy worked two more scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth, including two more strikeouts, before giving way to a fellow lefty, Drew Parrish, who worked a scoreless sixth before striking out the side in the seventh to secure the game one, 2-0 win.
For Lacy (1-1), the win marks his first as a pro and was highlighted by a career-high six strikeouts in five scoreless, while Lardner (0-1) took his first loss of the year despite allowing just two runs in five innings. Parrish’s (1) six-out save was his first of the year and his 11.2 scoreless innings is now the high mark out of the River Bandits’ bullpen.
In game two, Zach Haake picked up right where Quad Cities had left off and faced one over the minimum in the first two innings. However, Chiefs’ starter Connor Lunn matched him zero-for-zero as the righty went nine-up-nine down in the first three scoreless frames.
Neither club scored until the fifth, when both offenses put up three runs in their respective half innings. For the River Bandits, it was Nathan Eaton, Eric Cole, and John Rave who all produced one-run singles prior to Nolan Watson taking the mound in relief of Haake.
Peoria responded first by scoring on an error and then, using a Brady Whalen single and a Francisco Hernandez sacrifice fly, tied the game at 3-3 and chased Watson after just 0.2 innings.
With Lunn now out of the game, it was Vinnie Pasquantino who welcomed Logan Gragg by sending his fifth homer of the season over the right field wall and putting Q.C. back on top, 4-3.
After Lukas worked a scoreless bottom of the sixth, including two punchouts, the River Bandits got some insurance when Rave scored on Evan Sisk’s wild pitch to make the game 5-3 before Lukas nullified a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh and induced two pop outs and a “K” of Tyler Reichenborn to earn Quad Cities the 5-3 win.
Haake didn’t factor into the decision after crafting four scoreless with strikeouts as Lukas (1-1) got the “W” with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Gragg (0-1) got tagged with the loss for Peoria after giving up one earned run in 1.1 innings.
Now winners of nine of their last 10, the River Bandits will throw Anthony Veneziano (0-1, 5.79) in game three on Thursday night in opposition of Peoria starter Michael YaSenka (0-1, 9.00), who makes his third overall start of the season and his second at Dozer Park at 6:35 p.m. CDT.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: The 2021 season marks the River Bandits’ first year as a new Advanced-A major league affiliate. As such, the team will be offering higher quality baseball than has ever before been played in the Quad Cities. Additionally, the Bandits will welcome a new MLB affiliate to the Quad Cities, the Kansas City Royals. The River Bandits anchor the Quad Cities sports market, which The Sports Business
Journal named the top minor league sports market in the country in 2015 and second-best minor league market in its 2017 follow-up ranking. In 2015, 2017 and again in 2019, the River Bandits earned Ballpark Digest’s award for “Best Charitable Works” in Minor League Baseball, the only club to win that coveted award three times. For more information, visit www.riverbandits.com or contact General Manager Joe Kubly at (563) 333-2768.