The Quad Cities River Bandits saw their four-game win streak come to an end on Thursday, as the South Bend Cubs scored three runs in the top of the ninth to win by a final of 5-4 at Modern Woodmen Park. The game started as a duel between starters with Quad Cities’ Anthony Veneziano facing the minimum and South Bend’s D.J. Herz striking out five in the first two frames.
After allowing a leadoff walk to Bryce Windham in the third, Veneziano retired the next two men he faced with a pair of strikeouts, but then gave up a two-run blast to Alexander Canario to put the visitors up 2-0 and chase the lefty from the ballgame.
While usual starter A.J. Block took over to finish the frame for the Bandits and then pitched a one-two-three fourth, Herz continued to dominate and didn’t give up a run until Jake Means, who reached on one of his game’s three hits, scored on a Maikel Garcia double.
With Herz’s outing over after five innings and nine strikeouts, Quad Cities immediately jumped on Bailey Reid and got back-to-back hits to begin their half of the sixth including Logan Porter’s RBI double that tied the game. Later that inning, Kale Emshoff legged out an infield hit that brought in Porter to put the Bandits in front 3-2.
Block, after going scoreless 3.1 innings, turned the ball over to Patrick Smith, who gave Chris Widger a scoreless top of the seventh, but in the eighth, the benches would empty after newly entered Danis Correa threw two pitches inside to Garcia. After both teams were warned, the Bandits went down in order.
Prior to the beginning of the eighth however, Widger was ejected by Jen Pawol, marking the first time the Bandits’ skipper has been ejected in 2021.
Quad Cities added to its lead against Tanner Jesson-Dalton in the eighth and got an RBI double from Means to make it a 4-2 game. However, the Cubs offense sprang back to life against Kasey Kalich in the top of the ninth.
After Yohendrik Pinango led off the frame with a single, Perlaza immediately launched a two-run homer to tie the game. Bryce Ball’s single got the winning run on and saw Michael Ryan insert Edmond Americaan as a pinch runner. Tyler Durna then singled and moved Americaan to third, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
With the winning run at third and two outs, Kalich then uncorked a wild pitch to Bryce Windham, allowing Americaan to score and put the Cubs up 5-4.
Despite his struggles in the eighth, Jesson-Dalton struck out the River Bandits in order to close the game out in the ninth.
Jesson-Dalton (2-3) got the win for the South Bend with two innings of one-run ball and five strikeouts, while Kalich (2-2) gave up three runs over 1.1 innings and took the loss for Quad Cities.
The River Bandits will look to guarantee a split of the series with a win in game four tomorrow and will have Zach Haake (4-1, 3.83) on the hill against the Cubs’ Chris Clarke (0-5, 4.23). First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT at Modern Woodmen Park.