The Quad Cities River Bandits broke up a pitchers’ duel with a four-spot in the top of the ninth to lead them to a 5-3 victory over the Beloit Snappers on Thursday night at Pohlman Field.
Asa Lacy got the start for the River Bandits, his 13th of the season, and gave up his only run of the game in the first inning when the Snappers made it 1-0 after a leadoff walk to Connor Scott and then a pair of wild pitches allowed the outfielder to third with one out. Griffin Conine was responsible for the RBI and brought Scott home on a bounce-out to second.
While Lacy and Dante Biasi, who gave the River Bandits four-scoreless innings out of the bullpen, kept the Snappers quiet until the final frame, Quad Cities got nothing going against Beloit starter, M.D. Johnson, who in his second start of the year, kept the Bandits off the board through six of his seven innings on the hill and didn’t allow an extra-base hit.
However, Q.C. finally manufactured a run the top of the seventh and used an Eric Cole single, John Rave’s four- pitch walk, and a sacrifice-bunt by Will Hancock to put two men in scoring position for Tucker Bradley, who drove in the game-tying run in Cole with a sac-fly before Johnson ended the inning one batter later.
Biasi’s final inning was the bottom half of the scoreless eighth that also saw Beloit’s Tyler Mitzel strand a walk. But the latter arm ran into trouble in the top of the ninth when Cole started the frame with a triple, followed by a Rave walk. Mitzel got Hancock to groundout out, but then Bradley came through for his second RBI of the night and plated Cole with his second hit of the game to make it 2-1, Bandits.
The next batter, Nick Loftin, would reach on a hit by pitch, before Maikel Garcia recorded his first River Bandits’ RBI and gave his team a two-run advantage after a sac-fly to score Bradley.
Mitzel remained in the contest with now two outs, but couldn’t stop the bleeding as Vinnie Pasquantino and Jake Means scored a pair on back-to-back RBI singles to extend the Q.C. lead to 5-1 before Michael Massey finally flew out to end the frame.
Needing just three more outs, Christian Cosby got the baseball for the Bandits in the bottom of the ninth and immediately ran into trouble after allowing a leadoff single by Dustin Skelton and then a two-run homer to Marcos Rivera that made it a two-run game and got the Snappers back in the run column for the first time since the first inning.
After Cosby’s strikeout of Ricky Aracena, Connor Scott brought the tying run to the plate with one away, but the right-hander got a pop out from Thomas Jones and flyout from Conine to give the Bandits their third win in-a-row and a guaranteed them split of the six-game set.
Biasi (3-1) got the win for Quad Cities as he and Lacy combined for nine strikeouts, while Mitzel (1-3), who was responsible for the four-run ninth, took the loss after seven innings of one-run ball by the starter, Johnson.
The River Bandits will go for their eighth series win of the season tomorrow behind Noah Murdock (1-1, 4.60), while the Snappers will send Antonio Velez (3-0, 4.50) to the mound for the Friday night contest. First pitch at Pohlman Field is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT.