DAVENPORT, IA - Matt Olson yanked a go-ahead three-run homer over the right field fence in the sixth inning to provide what proved to be the winning runs as the Beloit Snappers edged the Quad Cities River Bandits, 5-4, in Midwest League action at Modern Woodman Park on Saturday night.
Beloit's victory puts them at 77-60 (34-33 in the second half). Quad Cities falls to 79-56 (41-26 in the second half).
The River Bandits took the night's first lead when, in the first inning, Tony Kemp (2-4, run) singled to lead-off, Teoscar Hernandez doubled and Danry Vasquez grounded out, tallying Kemp.
That lead stood for the next two innings until the Snappers' half of the fourth. John Wooten came up with a man on and lofted a fly ball that cleared the wall in right for his 20th homer and a 2-1 advantage.
In the fifth, Quad Cities responded. Starter Dylan Covey (1-0) walked the first two batters of the inning and then threw a wild pitch, allowing both runners to move up. The next two batters struck out, but, with Covey just one out away from escaping the jam, Carlos Correa hit a drive to left that sailed deep into the night for three runs, putting the River Bandits up, 4-2.
Thanks to Olson (1-3, HR, 3 RBIs, run), that lead was short-lived. Two hits to open up the top of the sixth were followed by an out, bringing up the Beloit first baseman, whose three-run jack off Richard Rodriguez (0-1) restored the Snappers to the lead. It also helped make a winner out of Covey, who picked up his first victory in professional baseball.
Clinging to a one-run lead, Beloit turned to their bullpen and received the clutch relief performances they needed. The first man in was Sam Bragg, who made his Snapper debut with a perfect sixth inning. Nolan Sanburn tossed a spotless seventh and eighth and Tyler Vail earned his seventh save with a scoreless ninth.
On Sunday, the Snappers will take on the River Bandits again, this time at 5:00pm, in the second to last game of their regular season. They will send out RHP Kyle Finnegan (1-0, 3.60 ERA) against Quad Cities' LHP Josh Hader (2-0, 3.05 ERA).