For the first time in 2021, the Quad Cities River Bandits found themselves on the losing end of a shutout, as they dropped game one of their six-game series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 1-0. Both Quad Cities’ starter, Noah Murdock and Kernels’ starter, Tyler Watson posted zeros in the first three frames with Murdock stranding a walk and Watson working around John Rave’s single in the second.
The only run of the game came courtesy of an RBI single by DaShawn Keirsey Jr. off of newly entered Dante Biasi, as Murdock’s leadoff walk of Wander Javier came back to bit him and proved to be the difference.
Quad Cities’ bullpen, with scoreless efforts from Biasi and Garrett Davila, only surrendered five base runners with just two hits for the remainder of the game, but saw the River Bandits offense muster just two singles and three walks off of the scoreless combination Tyler Palm, Zach Featherstone, and Jordan Gore.
After a leadoff walk from Michael Massey in the eighth and Rave’s second single of the night two batters later, the Bandits got both the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position with two outs, but Gore got help from his third baseman, Seth Gray, who corralled short-hop and retired Nick Loftin to end the threat.
In the bottom of the ninth, Vinnie Pasquantino worked a nine-pitch one-out walk to give his club a chance, but Gore again dialed in and struck out Jake Means and got Eric Cole to bounce out to secure the one-run shutout and his first save of the year.
The win went to Zach Featherstone (1-2), his first of the year, while Murdock (0-1) was pegged with a tough-luck loss. In game two on Wednesday night, Zach Haake (4-1, 3.82) will toe the rubber for Quad Cities and oppose Ben Gross (2-0, 2.78) at 6:30pm CDT at Modern Woodmen Park.