The Quad Cities River Bandits were held to just two hits and one run of offense on Thursday, as they fell to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers by a score of 4-1 at Neuroscience Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
River Bandits’ starter, Asa Lacy got out to a rocky start in the first and allowed the first three men he faced to reach in the bottom of the opening frame, including a single by Korry Howell that loaded the bases with no one out. The lefty would strikeout Thomas Dillard for the first out, but then saw Joe Gray Jr. give Wisconsin the lead on a sac-fly that plated David Hamilton from third to give the T-Rats a 1-0 lead.
Carlos Luna went seven-up seven-down to start his day on the hill for Wisconsin, but saw the string ended on Logan Porter’s third home run of the season, a solo shot over the right-center wall, that knotted the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the third.
After stranding a pair of walks in his previous two frames, Lacy had his fourth walk of the day turn into a Rattlers’ lead when LG Castillo rifled a ball to left that deflected off of Eric Cole’s glove on a diving attempt. The double, Castillo’s 10th of the year, plated Gray Jr. and Je’Von Ward to push Wisconsin back out in front 3-1.
Quad Cities struggles against Luna continued in the top of the fifth as the righty completed his third one-two-three frame of the day before Ward, the first man up against the newly entered Dante Biasi, tagged the Bandits’ starter for his fourth of the game and brought in Hayden Cantrelle on a run-scoring groundout.
Now trailing 4-1, Q.C. saw Jeison Guzman and Nick Loftin retired for the first two outs in the top of the sixth, but finally saw a new arm after Luna walked Vinnie Pasquantino with two outs. However, Jake Means’ six-pitch at bat went to Evan Reifert who stranded the inherited runner with a “K”.
In the top of the seventh, the Bandits threatened on Michael Massey’s leadoff walk and got their second and final hit of the game on Cole’s liner to center, but it was all for naught as Reifert stuck out Rave and got Porter to bounce into an inning-ending double play to extinguish the threat.
While Biasi’s day would end at 1.2 scoreless innings and Jonah Dipoto would toss two shutout frames of his own in the eighth and ninth, Reifert and Harold Chirino, who pitched the ninth for the T-Rats, faced the minimum in the same frames and stranded Means’ walk in the top of the ninth to net Chirino his third save of the year and Wisconsin’s second victory of the series.
Thanks to 5.2 innings of one-run ball and five strikeouts, Luna (2-0) earned his second win of the season, while Lacy (2-5), who lasted 4.1 innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on four hits, five walks, and five strikeouts, took the loss for the Bandits.
Quad Cities will look to even up the series in game four tomorrow, as Noah Murdock (0-1, 5.06) will get the start in opposition of the Timber Rattlers’ Justin Bullock (4-1, 2.40) at 7:05 p.m. CDT at Neuroscience Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Friday night.