The Quad Cities River Bandits

Photo: Manuel, Mark (uploader)

In front of a 4,000-plus crowd, the Quad Cities River Bandits secured their fifth series win of the season in historic fashion, as Zach Haake and Dante Biasi combined to throw the 12th no-hitter in Quad Cities baseball history en route to a 9-0 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Friday night at Modern Woodmen Park.

For the second-straight night, the story of the contest looked to be about first-inning offense, as the River Bandits jumped on Timber Rattlers’ starter Reese Olson, who allowed an RBI-double to Tyler Gentry before walking Eric Cole to load the bases. One batter later, Jake Means lifted a wall-scraping grand slam to left, his team’s first of the year, to put Quad Cities on top 5-0 exiting the first.

The attention then shifted to Bandits’ starter, Zach Haake, who in his seventh start of the year, never faced more than four batters in any frame during his hitless, six-inning start and set down the minimum in all but the first and third innings.

After striking out Hayden Cantrelle for his fourth and final “k” of the day, the Bandits bats reemerged in the sixth and tallied an additional three runs against Wisconsin reliever, Harold Chirino thanks to a two-run double by Nick Loftin and a run-scoring single by Michael Massey to extend Quad Cities advantage to 9-0.

With the Timber Rattlers without a hit entering the seventh, Dante Biasi took over for the Bandits and walked Garrett Mitchell to begin the top half. But after a fly-ball and a pop-out, the lefthander whiffed Gabriel Garcia for a scoreless inning.

One frame later, Biasi issued another leadoff walk, this time to Carlos Rodriguez. However, Nick Kahle and Jesus Lujano both went down on strikes before David Hamilton flied-out to Tucker Bradley.

Quad Cities added a ninth run in the bottom of the eighth on Loftin’s RBI groundout, but all eyes were on Biasi who retook the hill for ninth with history on the line.

For the third-straight time, Biasi walked the first man he faced as Cantrelle worked his league-leading 36th base on balls of the year. The former Penn State product would bounce back though and struck out Mitchell looking for the first out of the ninth.

Making his way through the heart of the Wisconsin order, Biasi saw his first pitch to Thomas Dillard hit hard, but right at Gentry in right field for out number two.

Then, after walking Je’Von Ward on four-straight pitches, Garcia grounded a ball to third base where Means would initially bobble the baseball, but then officially put the 2021 River Bandits in the history books with strike across the diamond to Logan Porter for the final out.

The combined no-hitter marked the Bandits’ first as members of the High-A Central and as an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, as well as their second two-man effort in franchise history, with Hector Cardenas and Kevin Thomas having completed the feat on May 19, 2009 against the Beloit Snappers.

Having worked the first two-thirds of the way, Haake (3-1) earned his third win of the season for Quad Cities while Biasi (1) earned a save with three scoreless frames, four walks, and four strikeouts. The loss ended up in the hands of Reese Olson (3-4) who settled in to toss four scoreless frames, but only after the five-run first.

Now riding six-straight wins atop the High-A Central West, Quad Cities will host the Timber Rattlers for game four of the six-game series on Saturday and will send Anthony Veneziano (1-2, 3.86) to the bump against Wisconsin’s Zach Mort (1-2 4.96) for a 6:30 p.m. CDT first pitch at Modern Woodmen Park.

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