Backed by Michael Massey and Logan Porter’s five combined home runs, the Quad Cities River Bandits outslugged the Beloit Snappers 10-9 on Wednesday for their High-A Central best 40th win of the season in game two of a six-game set at Pohlman Field.
Although there were seven total home runs and 19 total runs, neither occurred in the first three innings as Bandits’ starter, A.J. Block and Snappers’ starter, Zach King kept their opposition off the board and each stranded four base runners in the scoreless first third of the game.
With both men still toeing the rubber in the fourth, it was Porter who broke into the run column with his first of two home runs on the night and plated Eric Cole on his way around to give Quad Cities a 2-0 lead.
However, Beloit would mark their first tallies of the game and eventually took the lead in the bottom half of the fourth, the final inning thrown by Block, as a pair of RBI singles from Bubba Hollins and Victor Victor Mesa plus a sacrifice-fly by Ricky Aracena made it 3-2 favoring the home squad.
In the top of the fifth, Quad Cities jumped back in front with a four-spot. After the leadoff batter, Maikel Garcia, reached on an error to start the frame, Nick Loftin’s RBI double and Vinnie Pasquantino’s RBI single made it 4-3, Q.C. After a mound visit and a four-pitch strikeout of Jake Means, Massey smacked a two-run blast to send King to the showers. Raul Brito, his replacement, walked the bases loaded with two outs, but navigated out with the score still 6-3, Bandits.
After a scoreless inning from Garrett Davila, Chris Widger’s first man out of the bullpen, in the bottom of the fifth, Massey struck for his second homer of the game, a two-run shot off of Brito, and extended his team’s lead to 8-3.
Davila again held Beloit off the board in the bottom of the sixth and saw his lead grow even larger on Porters’ second homer of the night, a solo blast that made it a six-run game. But, the lefty ran into trouble one inning later as run-scoring knocks from Will Banfield, Hollins, and an RBI groundout by Troy Johnston cut the River Bandits’ lead to 9-6 and brought on Mitch Ellis to finish the seventh.
Ellis and Brady Puckett worked one-two-three innings in the eighth before Massey led off the top of the ninth with his third homer of the game, his 13th of the season, and put Q.C. in doubt digits. Cole, with a single, and Tucker Bradley, with a double, both reached later in the inning, but Puckett was able to strikeout Garcia to end the threat with the score 10-6, Bandits.
Beloit saved some firepower for the ninth and got back-to-back home runs from Jones and Kameron Misner to leadoff the inning and make it just a one-run game. Ellis got Banfield to groundout for the first out, but then allowed Johnston into scoring position with a double that led to Will Klein entering from the bullpen looking for two more outs.
The first man he’d face, Hollins, made it a one-run game with an RBI double to score Johnston, but the righty would punch-out Marcos Rivera and Aracena on seven pitches to slam the door on a Q.C. win and his second save of the season.
Quad Cities saw the victory go to Davila (4-2) despite allowing three runs over 2.2 innings, while the loss was handed to King (2-8) who gave up six, five earned, on six hits and two walks over 4.1 innings.
Asa Lacy (2-5, 4.96) will look to lead the River Bandits to a third-consecutive win on Thursday and will go up against M.D. Johnson (1-0, 0.00) for Beloit. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT at Pohlman Field.