Quad Cities first baseman Chase McDonald hit a three-run, walk-off home run in the 10th inning off Lake County right-hander Alexis Paredes to give the River Bandits a 5-2 victory and their first-ever series sweep of the Captains in front of 3,186 at Modern Woodmen Park Monday afternoon.
Quad Cities (15-15 second half, 50-49 overall) achieved its first three-game winning streak since July 3 to complete its first sweep of an opponent in a season series since sweeping West Michigan in three games May 31-June 2, 2011. Neither Quad Cities nor Lake County (15-15, 42-58) had swept one another in the first four years of their annual three-game interdivision series.
A third straight River Bandits starter did not allow an earned run. Right-hander Adrian Houser worked around a pair of one-out walks in the first inning, in part thanks to a diving catch by center fielder James Ramsay on a line drive by Captains first baseman Nellie Rodriguez.
Quad Cities scored first for a third straight game in the second inning, when right-hander Caleb Hamrick walked designated hitter Ronnie Mitchell. After Mitchell stole second base, left fielder Jose Fernandez drove an RBI triple to right-center field scoring Mitchell for a 1-0 lead. Second baseman Marc Wik lined the next pitch to right-center field to score Fernandez for a 2-0 lead. Houser allowed a Lake County run in the third inning. Second baseman Claudio Bautista singled to left field, and right fielder Mike Papi hit a two-out fly ball toward left field, which Fernandez dropped for an error that allowed Bautista to score, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Houser worked around a double in the fourth inning, a single in the fifth inning, and a walk and hit batter in the sixth inning. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and three walks with six strikeouts in his fourth six-inning start of the season. Right-hander Frederick Tiburcio relieved him for the seventh inning and allowed a leadoff walk before stranding the tying run at third base to end the inning.
For the Captains, Hamrick allowed two earned runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts in five innings. Right-hander Jimmy Stokes struck out five batters in two scoreless innings, and right-hander Trevor Frank struck out one in two hitless innings.
River Bandits right-hander Andrew Walter (4-2) worked a perfect eighth inning. In the ninth, he allowed a leadoff single by left fielder Dorssys Paulino, who went to second base on a passed ball and to third base on third baseman Paul Hendrix's single. Walter struck out designated hitter Brian Ruiz before shortstop Ivan Castillo hit a slow ground ball that scored Paulino when shortstop Thomas Lindauer threw out Castillo at first base. Walter struck out Bautista with the go-ahead run at second base to keep the 2-2 tie. In the 10th inning, Walter allowed a one-out walk and two-out single but struck out two batters to match a career high with five strikeouts in three innings.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Paredes entered to allow a single by third baseman J.D. Davis, who had his second straight two-hit game. Mitchell hit a fly ball that Paulino overran in left field for an error putting runners at second and third bases. McDonald then hit an 0-1 pitch for a towering fly ball to left field that dropped over the fence for his first career walk-off home run and ninth of the season.
Quad Cities begins a six-game road trip to Eastern Division ballparks at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio. River Bandits right-hander Kevin Comer (1-2) is scheduled to start the three-game series opener in the team's first visit to Fifth Third Field as an Astros affiliate.
UP NEXT: The River Bandits are in the running for the 2014 Quad-City Times Readers' Choice Awards in the categories of "Best Entertainment Venue," "Best Family Entertainment," "Best Place for a Kid's Birthday Party," and "Best Place to Take Out of Town Guest". Game tickets are available at www.riverbandits.com. To order any of the River Bandits 2014 ticket plans - with new lower prices - call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership recently made one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 105 feet over the playing field, opened May 24, and Space Camp opened June 20; the newly expanded 300-foot long zip line has also reopened. Soon to come is another new ride, this one called a "Drop and Twist." In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. Last season, the team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.