The Quad Cities River Bandits kicked off their final regular season series of the season with a 5-4 walk-off victory over the South Bend Cubs on Tuesday night at Modern Woodmen Park.
John Rave was responsible for the game’s first and final runs, as he had the third of three-straight Bandits’ hits against Jordan Wicks in the bottom of the opening inning and put Quad Cities up 2-0 with an RBI triple.
South Bend responded right away off of Dante Biasi in the top of the second and got a two-run homer from Jake Slaughter to tie the game. However, Wicks’ two-out walk in the bottom half proved costly, as Rubendy Jaquez put the Bandits back in front with an RBI bloop single to right.
After Biasi pitched a scoreless third, Zack Phillips and Tyler Santana each pitched two shutout innings, before South Bend tied it up against Phillips in the top of the sixth with an RBI double off the bat of Bryce Windham.
Phillips and newly entered Hunter Bigge threw the final scoreless inning of the game in the seventh, with the former stranding a man on third to complete four innings of one-run relief.
In the eighth, the Cubs notched three consecutive hits off of Nathan Webb and took a 4-3 lead on another RBI by Windham, this time an RBI single. But, Webb then stranded two men in scoring position with a pair of strikeouts and a grounder from Alexander Canario to limit the damage.
The Bandits manufactured a run in the bottom of the eighth after Kale Emshoff saw his towering popup land in between Miguel Pabon and Yohendrik Pinango for a one out double. Chris Widger then replaced his catcher with a pinch runner, Tyler Tolbert, who stole third during Tucker Bradley’s at-bat, before scoring on Bigge’s wild pitch to tie the game.
Webb settled down in the top of the ninth and kept the tie intact by retiring the Cubs in order—including a pair of strikeouts—for the first time in the game.
Eduarniel Nunez took over for South Bend in the bottom half and saw Rubendy Jaquez leadoff the frame by reaching on a Pabon error, but after the righty hit Nick Loftin with a pitch, Tyler Durna threw out Jaquez at third on Nathan Eaton’s bunt attempt. However, after working the count to 3-1, Rave struck for his third hit and third RBI by lacing a line drive to right to easily score Loftin and walk-off the Cubs with a 5-4 victory.
The win went to Webb (4-1) who gave up one run over two innings, while Nunez (1-2) gave up an unearned run in his losing effort.
Quad Cities will look to make it four wins in-a-row on Wednesday, as Charlie Neuweiler will get the ball for the Bandits (2-2, 5.62) opposite South Bends’ Max Bain (5-8, 5.38) for a 6:30 p.m. CDT first pitch at Modern Woodmen Park.