DAVENPORT, IA - The Quad Cities River Bandits broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning and held off the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the top of the ninth for a 4-3 victory at Modern Woodmen Park on Friday night.
Tyrone Taylor was at first base with two outs and a full count on Victor Roache. Taylor took off on the 3-2 pitch to Roache, who smacked a single to right that rolled to a stop in thick grass. Quad Cities right fielder Ariel Ovando was playing well off the line against the right-handed Roache and it took him awhile to get to the baseball. Taylor just kept running and easily scored the first run of the game.
Quad Cities (24-22) tied the game in the bottom of the first. Carlos Correa was at second and Terrell Joyce was at first with two outs and a full count on Rio Ruiz. Both runners took off on the 3-2 pitch to Ruiz, who smacked a hard grounder to the backhand of Timber Rattlers second baseman Chris McFarland. McFarland knocked the ball down, but had no play as Correa scored from second on the infield single to tie the game.
Wisconsin (21-22) took advantage of a pair of Quad Cities errors in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. A throwing error allowed Parker Berberet to reach at the start of the inning. Max Walla sent a grounder fair inside the third base line to left field. The throw went into second and second baseman Austin Elkins couldn't handle the throw. That allowed Berberet to score. Chris McFarland was next and his double to left drove in Walla for a 3-1 lead.
Rattlers starting pitcher Preston Gainey got into trouble in the second and third innings, but escaped each time. He could not get out of trouble in the fourth. Jordan Scott and Elkins had consecutive singles with one out. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Correa tripled to right to drive in both runs and tie the game 3-3.
The game stayed tied until the bottom of the eighth inning. Ariel Ovando drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch from Eric Semmelhack. Roberto Peña dropped a sacrifice bunt with two strikes to get pinch runner Teoscar Hernandez into scoring position. Semmelhack got the second out with a grounder to first that moved Hernandez to third base.
Semmelhack got ahead of Elkins 0-2 and looked like he might get out of the inning. But, the 0-2 pitch glanced off the glove of Berberet for a passed ball to let Hernandez in with the go ahead run.
Wisconsin tried to rally in the top of the ninth against Daniel Minor. Adam Giacalone singled to start the inning and was replaced by pinch runner Jose Sermo. Minor got a strikeout and a grounder to first for two outs as Sermo reached second base. McFarland got ahead in the count 2-0 and sent a deep fly ball to right center. Hernandez, who took over in center for the top of the ninth inning after his pinch running duty in the bottom of the eighth, raced back and made an over the shoulder catch to deny McFarland a game-tying extra base hit and end the game.
The Timber Rattlers had won the first two games of the series, but missed on the chance at a sweep and to go over the .500 mark. The River Bandits snapped a six game losing streak with the win.
The Timber Rattlers continue on their road swing through the Western Division with the start of a three-game series in Peoria, Illinois on Saturday night. The Timber Rattlers have Tyler Wagner (4-2, 3.16) as the scheduled starting pitcher. The Peoria Chiefs plan to send Kyle Helisek (3-1, 4.23) to the mound. Game time at Dozer Park is 6:30pm.
Tune in for the Miller Lite Pregame Show on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting at 6:10pm.
WP: Daniel Minor (3-1)
LP: Eric Semmelhack (1-1)