Despite getting the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position in the ninth, the Quad Cities River Bandits were held off by the Peoria Chiefs on Thursday as they lost their second-straight game by a score of 4-3.
The contest featured two starters who entered the night with earned run averages under three and both Angel Zerpa and Jack Ralston showed why by working a scoreless three frames that saw just three combined base runners.
Both offenses, however, got on the board with RBI doubles in the fourth. The River Bandits did so in the top of the inning with Eric Cole crossing home on Pasquantino’s two-bagger, while Tyler Reichenborn plated Francisco Hernandez in the bottom half to tie the game at 1-1.
A double also helped Quad Cities in the fifth as the visitors took the lead after Logan Porter’s third of the year put him in scoring position for William Hancock, who drove a run-scoring single up the middle for a 2-1 advantage.
After a pair of walks in the top of the sixth, Ralston handed he ball to Nathanael Heredia who worked out of a bases loaded jam. Zerpa remained in the game for the entirety of the sixth inning and stranded a two-out single and set himself in line for his fourth-straight win.
In the bottom of the seventh, with Will Klein now on the hill for Quad Cities, Peoria turned a pair of one-out singles and a John Torres double into a tie game as Cristhian Longa scored on the knock and then took a 4-2 lead as Matt Chamberlain and Torres scored on a fielder’s choice and ground out respectively.
Michael Massey got one back for the Bandits in the top of the eighth by launching a 453-foot solo bomb off of Jacob Schlesenger for his third diner of the year and to bring Quad Cities to within one in the 4-3 game.
Klein prevented any Peoria insurance in the bottom half of the eighth by sandwiching a ground ball with two strikeouts, but although a leadoff single by Tucker Bradley and a Nick Loftin single helped place the Bandits’ tying and go-ahead runs on second and third, Wilfredo Pereira struck out Pasquantino on a full-count curveball to secure a Chiefs win.
After Zerpa gave the Bandits a career-high six-inning, one run start, it was Klein (2-1) who took his first loss of the season for the Bandits, while Heredia backed Ralston’s 5.2 innings of two-run start with a scoreless 1.1 inning for his first win of the season. Pereira’s save in the ninth marked his first of the campaign as well.
Quad Cities will look to even up the six-game set tomorrow behind Asa Lacy (1-2, 6.27) who will matchup with RHP Connor Lunn (1-1, 5.88) for Friday’s 6:35 p.m. CDT first pitch.