River Bandits Lose Season Finale, Now It's Off To The Post Season

The Quad Cities River Bandits

Photo: Manuel, Mark (uploader)

Despite tying the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Quad Cities River Bandits fell to the South Bend Cubs 5-4 in their final regular season game of the year on Sunday and finished the year 77-41 overall after the ten-inning loss.

Quad Cities took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with Nathan Eaton plated Tyler Tolbert’s leadoff single with an RBI double against Cubs’ starter Jordan Wicks, who then stranded three baserunners in the scoreless second and third.

After Dante Biasi gave the Bandits his fourth scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts and Tyler Santana took over for the Cubs for the bottom of the fourth, the Bandits extended their lead to 2-0 as Will Hancock drove in Parker Bates with a sacrifice-fly.

South Bend then found the home run ball and got a two-out solo shot off the bat of Jake Washer that tagged Biasi for his only run of the game before Yohendrick Pinango led off the sixth with a blast against Patrick Smith to tie it at 2-2.

In response, Q.C. loaded the bases with less than two outs in the sixth and the seventh, but failed to score either time against Santana or Gabriel Jaramillo, who got Gavin Stupienski to bounce into an inning-ending double play to end the seventh.

After a scoreless inning from Kasey Kalich, Nathan Webb pitched the top of the eighth for Quad Cities and allowed a leadoff single to Edmond Americaan who then stole second and got to third on a Stupienski error. Then with two outs, the Cubs’ center fielder scored on a wild pitch to give South Bend the 3-2 lead.

The Bandits tied it up in the bottom of the ninth after a Rubendy Jaquez infield hit eventually led to Jake Means’ first sacrifice-fly of the season against Bailey Reid to send it to the 10th.

Having already used four relievers, including Caden Monke who pitched a scoreless top of the ninth, Bandits’ manager Chris Widger turned to usual starter Charlie Neuweiler for the 10th. In his first relief appearance since 2017, the righty allowed both a placed runner, Washer, and his leadoff walk, Americaan, to score on a pair of sac-flies by Yonathan Perlaza and Canario that put South Bend up 5-3.

Facing Dalton Stambaugh in the bottom of the tenth, Parker Bates drove in the placed runner, Eric Cole, with an RBI single, but despite Hancock later reaching on a walk to put the tying and winning runs on base, Stambaugh got Tolbert to ground out to second to secure a Cubs’ win.

Giving up two runs, one earned, in the tenth, Neuweiler (2-3) got the loss for Quad Cities, while Reid (1-1) got the win in the victory despite blowing a save and allowing a run in one frame.

The River Bandits will take Monday off before hitting the road for Cedar Rapids to take on the Kernels in game one of the High-A Central Playoffs on Tuesday, September 21.

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