The Rattlers (44-24) took the early lead with a pair of runs in the second inning. Cameron Garfield singled to start the inning. Chadwin Stang dropped a bunt to sacrifice to move Garfield to second and the Rattlers got a bonus when the throw to first was wild. Garfield wound up on third base and Stang was aboard at first. Rafael Neda, who had three hits on the night, grounded the next pitch into center field to score Garfield. John Dishon drew a walk to load the bases and Carlos George scored Stang with a line drive single to center for a 2-0 lead.
The bases were still loaded with no outs, but the Rattlers couldn't add to their lead. River Bandits starting pitcher Hector Hernandez struck out the next two batters and ended the inning with a grounder to third. That kept the Rattlers lead at 2-0.
Quad Cities (34-34) tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Anthony Garcia line a 1-2 pitch from Chad Thompson to left for a two-run home run with two outs. The homer by Garcia, his seventh of the season, made the score 2-2.
Wisconsin had opportunities to retake the lead. They had at least one runner on base from the fifth inning through the ninth, but could not get the run across the plate to go back in front of the River Bandits.
David Medina started the game winning rally with a bunt single on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth. Virgil Hill replaced Median as a pinch runner. Roberto De La Cruz was next and he bunted the next pitch up the third base line. The throw to first was wild and wound up in the Rattlers bullpen down the right field line. Hill raced home with the winning run and beat an off target throw with plenty of room to spare.
Game two of the series in Quad Cities is Saturday night. David Goforth (5-4, 5.71) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Willy Paulino (2-4, 5.50) is making his first start of the season for the River Bandits after 20 relief appearances. Game time is 7:00pm.
Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
WP: Travis Miller (2-0)
LP: Mark Williams (4-5)