The Quad Cities River Bandits took their fifth win of the series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Sunday, as they closed out the six-game set with a 7-5 victory at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
In his second start and third appearance of the week, Yohanse Morel got the nod for the River Bandits and was immediately spotted a 1-0 lead by Seuly Matias, who grounded home a run after Cody Laweryson allowed three-straight singles to reach to start the game. The Bandits reloaded the bases with a John Rave walk, but the righty limited the damage to one.
Morel stranded one runner in two scoreless innings of work before Quad Cities tacked on three more in the top of the third. Matias drove in Michael Massey, who had reached on a one-out double and then came home on an RBI single. The next batter, Eric Cole, made it 4-0 game after driving in Rave with a sacrifice-fly which would be the last run allowed by Lawyerson, who was replaced by Ryan Shreeve one batter later.
In his River Bandits’ debut, C.J. Eldred got the ball for Q.C. in the bottom of the third. It took the righty just four pitches to record two outs after Gabriel Maciel’s leadoff single, but the Kernels’ centerfielder eventually came in to score on Yunior Severino’s full count single.
Both relievers worked a scoreless fourth inning, but it was again Matias who struck for the River Bandits on a leadoff solo homer in the top of the fifth. However, Eldred struggled in his second inning of work and ended up losing the lead after Matt Wallner’s RBI single and Wander Javier’s three-run home run pushed the game to 5-5.
Osiris German and Tad Ratliff both toed the rubber in an uneventful sixth, with the former giving way to Erik Manoah in the seventh, where an RBI single from John Rave put the Bandits back on top 6-5 and allowed right-hander Kasey Kalich to move in line for the win with a scoreless bottom half.
In the eighth, Quad Cities got a jolt of insurance off the bat of Logan Porter, who smacked his 11th homer of the season to move the visitors further on top, 7-5.
After warming up and not being used in last night’s contest, Peyton Gray took the ball for Chris Wider and stranded the tying runs on base in both the eighth and the ninth to record his sixth save of the season and nail down the Bandits’ win.
With a scoreless 1.1 innings, Kalich (1-0) earned his first win as a member of the Royals organization, while Manoah (1-2) took the loss for Cedar Rapids after coughing up two in his 1.1 innings.
Now owning the second-best record at the High-A level, the River Bandits will head home to begin a six-game set against the Beloit Snappers on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CDT at Modern Woodmen Park.