The Quad Cities River Bandits saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday, as they were topped by the Beloit Snappers 8-1 in a game that saw Quad Cities fail to score until the final frame.
Entering the contest with 98 strikeouts on the season, Anthony Veneziano became the first River Bandit and first Royals’ farmhand to hit the century mark after punching out two in the scoreless first. However, his performance was matched by Antonio Velez who, like Veneziano, worked three shutout innings to start the game.
After Veneziano allowed his first walk of the night, a one-out pass to Victor Victor Mesa, Thomas Jones opened the scoring with the first of back-to-back RBI singles as he and Troy Johnston put the Bandits behind 2-0.
Quad Cities looked to spark a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth and got a walk from Logan Porter and a single from Eric Cole, but Velez got Jake Means to fly out to end the threat.
Beloit’s lead grew by three in the fifth as Veneizano allowed three-straight hits to start the inning, including an RBI single from Ynmanol Marinez. The lefty then induced a pair of Snappers’ flyouts, but was replaced by Yohanse Morel with two away and saw two more score on Jones’ two-run double.
With an even larger cushion, Velez continued to dominate in the fifth and sixth and retired the Bandits in order in both frames thanks to the help of four groundballs.
Quad Cities’ deficit grew to 7-0 in the top of the seventh on Kameron Misner’s two-run blast off of Morel that scored Connor Scott, who reached on a single and then stole his way to third.
In the bottom half, Velez completed his gem and stranded Porter’s leadoff single with a pair of pop outs and a strikeout of Will Hancock, which marked just the lefty’s second “K” of the game.
Nathan Webb and Eli Villalobos combined for a scoreless eighth prior to the Snappers tacking on an additional tally by plating Ricky Aracena’s leadoff triple with a Scott single, while Quad Cities avoided the shutout and got its only run of the night with one out in the bottom of the ninth when Cole singled in a Seuly Matias double.
After working his second consecutive seven-inning shutout start, Velez (5-2) got the win for Beloit and needed only two strikeouts to hold Q.C. off the board. Veneziano (3-4) took his fourth loss of the year on five runs, four earned, over a 4.2-inning start.
With the series split, the River Bandits will look to A.J. Block (3-2, 4.62) for Thursday night’s contest, while Beloit will start Bryan Hoeing (4-6, 6.29). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CDT at Modern Woodmen Park.