BELOIT, Wis. - Beloit Snappers second baseman Christopher Bostick hit a two-run home run in the first inning to put his team ahead to stay and finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs in a 4-3 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits in Game 2 of the Midwest League Western Division final at Pohlman Field Sunday night.
Beloit tied the best-of-three series at one game apiece and forced Game 3 at its home ballpark at 6:30 p.m. Monday, when the winner will advance to the Midwest League Championship. River Bandits right-hander Daniel Minor (8-3) is scheduled to face Snappers right-hander Derek DeYoung (8-5). Sunday's loss ended a string of 10 straight postseason victories for Quad Cities.
The Snappers jumped to a lead against right-hander Zach Morton (0-1) in the first inning, as left fielder Aaron Shipman hit a leadoff single, and Bostick hit the first pitch he saw with one out over the left-field fence for his second postseason home run and a 2-0 Snappers lead. Later in the inning, Morton allowed consecutive two-out singles by third baseman Renato Nunez, right fielder John Wooten and center fielder Brett Vertigan, whose hit scored Nunez but ended with Wooten being thrown out between third and second bases.
Trailing 3-0, the River Bandits came back against right-hander Kyle Finnegan in the second inning. Third baseman Rio Ruiz drew a leadoff walk and reached third base on two groundouts. First baseman Jobduan Morales walked ahead of designated hitter Brian Blasik, who beat out a ground ball to the right side for an infield RBI single. Second baseman Tony Kemp lined a single to right field that scored Morales, but center fielder Teoscar Hernandez grounded out to end the inning with a 3-2 deficit.
Bostick helped the Snappers respond in the second inning, when Morton allowed two walks before Bostick lined a two-out RBI single to left field for a 4-2 Snappers advantage. Morton went 1 2/3 innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits with two walks and one strikeout. Right-hander Jamaine Cotton struck out first baseman Matt Olson on the way to starting 3 1/3 hitless innings of relief.
Finnegan left after walking the first two batters in the third. Right-hander Deyvi Jimenez entered and got a flyout and double play, but he allowed a leadoff bunt single by right fielder Jordan Scott in the fourth, when Kemp drew a walk, and Hernandez reached on an RBI infield single. Shortstop Carlos Correa walked to load the bases and force Jimenez out of the game. Left-hander Chris Lamb faced left fielder Danry Vasquez but threw a pitch in the dirt, and Kemp was tagged out trying to score on the final play of the inning, keeping the home team's lead at 4-3. It was the final time Quad Cities had the tying run at third base, as the visitors left 10 runners on base.
Quad Cities got two scoreless innings from left-hander J.D. Osborne and one shutout frame from right-hander Patrick Christensen to finish a 6 1/3-inning scoreless effort by the bullpen. Beloit used Lamb for 1 1/3 innings, then Kris Hall for a scoreless sixth inning, and right-hander Nolan Sanburn for two scoreless innings, although he worked out of a first-and-second, no-out jam in the eighth by getting a forceout on a bunt attempt and inducing a ground-ball double play. Right-hander Austin House allowed Hernandez to reach on a Nunez error in the ninth inning, but Vasquez struck out swinging with the tying run at second base to end the game.
UP NEXT: Follow the River Bandits' playoff run at www.riverbandits.com by listening to the live broadcast presented by Mediacom. You can also listen to every game using the TuneIn Radio app on your smartphone. Tickets are on sale at the River Bandits box office at Modern Woodmen Park, by phone at 563-324-3000 and online at www.riverbandits.com. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $50. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: The River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is planned for next spring, along with a carousel and other new games and attractions. This season, the team just unveiled a new 300-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. The team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, just saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The playoffs will likely be the last chance for Quad Cities fans to see 2012 No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa and many other future stars in a River Bandits uniform.