Behind a dominant bullpen, the Quad Cities River Bandits won game two of their six-game set with the Peoria Chiefs, as they came away with a 9-4 victory on Wednesday night at Modern Woodmen Park. Just as they did in game one, the Chiefs got on the board in the first inning and took the lead against Asa Lacy who allowed a two-out RBI single to Moises Castillo that plated Jordan Walker for a 1-0 Peoria lead.
After a run-scoring knock from Walker in the top of the second that put the Chiefs up 2-0, the River Bandits tied up the game in the bottom half thanks to Gavin Stupienski who took Peoria starter, Logan Gragg deep with a two-run shot for his first home run of the season. Lacy allowed three-straight men to reach in the top of the third, including a run-scoring single to Tyler Reichenborn, and after 64 pitches, was pulled for Dante Biasi, who gave up an inherited run on an RBI double by Imeldo Diaz, but struck out Matt Chamberlain to end the frame with the score 4-2, Peoria.
However, the Bandits quickly tied it up again on an RBI single by Eric Cole in the third and then Logan Porter’s solo home run in the fourth that made it 4-4. Biasi gave Quad Cities 2.1 innings of relief and struck out four after allowing the double to the first man he faced back in the third. Will Klein replaced Biasi for the sixth and combined with Jacob Schlesener to toss a scoreless inning after the latter replaced Gragg, who went 5.0 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts in his 10th start of the season.
In the seventh, the River Bandits got a one-two-three inning, including two strikeouts, from Klein before the offense came alive and brought 11 men to the plate against the trio of Schlesener, Paul Schwendel, who allowed three runs on two hits and two walks without recording an out, and Leandro Taveras. Three walks in four batters helped the top of the Bandits order load the bases in the frame and led to the go-ahead run in Maikel Garcia scoring on a Schwendel balk with Eric Cole at the plate. One batter later, after Cole reached on the fourth walk of the inning, Seuly Matias cleared the bases with a three-run triple and put Quad Cities on top by four. Immediately after the triple, Logan Porter tacked on the River Bandits’ ninth run and brought in Matias with his third hit of the game.
Now working with a five-run lead, Klein allowed the only Chiefs base runner after the third inning to reach on a walk to Reichenborn, but struck out Hernandez to end the top of the eighth. Garrett Davila took the River Bandits home with three groundballs in a one-two-three ninth inning to secure Quad Cities’ 9-4 win, their 45th of the season.
Thanks to three innings of shutout ball, Klein (3-1) earned his third with of the season for the Bandits, while Schlesener (2-2) took the loss going 1.1 innings and allowing two runs on one hit and two walks for the visitors. Quad Cities will look to secure a spilt of the series tomorrow as they call upon Noah Murdock (2-1, 3.38), who will get the start against Peoria’s Nick Trogrlic-Iverson (3-4, 4.93) at Modern Woodmen Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.