GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Quad Cities River Bandits got a pair of two-run home runs early in Thursday's game against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Starting pitcher Sam Gaviglio made those runs stand as the River Bandits topped the Rattlers 5-3 at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
Quad Cities (18-16) took the lead on two pitches in the top of the second. Anthony Garcia singled on the first pitch of the inning from Wisconsin starter David Goforth. Juan Castillo lined the next pitch over the wall in left for a two-run homer and a 2-0 lead.
Wisconsin (21-13) took advantage of the Bandits throwing the ball around the field in the bottom of the third. Yadiel Rivera reached on a hit batsman to start the inning. He was at second with two out. Then, Brandon Macias drove him in with a single to left.
The throw home allowed Macias to take second and the fact that the throw got by the catcher let Macias break for third. Gaviglio, who was backing up the play, fired wildly and the ball wound up in left field again. Macias trotted home with the tying run.
But, the River Bandits struck against Goforth again in the top of the fourth. Castillo drew a leadoff walk. Luis Mateo was next and his line drive barely cleared the 16' high wall in left-center. It was enough to put Quad Cities up 4-2.
Wisconsin had Gaviglio in trouble in the sixth inning as they had two on with no outs. But, Gaviglio escaped with a double play and a fly ball to center for the final out.
Quad Cities added an insurance run in the top of the eighth with a sacrifice fly by Nick Martini. The run off Rattlers reliever Chad Pierce put the Bandits up 5-2.
Heath Wyatt came into the game for the ninth and almost let the Rattlers back into it. Wyatt walked the first two batters he faced. That brought Nick Ramirez, who was making his 2012 debut for the Rattlers, to the plate as they tying run. Ramirez drove the ball deep to center, but the ball did not carry and Martini made the catch on the warning track. Greg Hopkins drove in a run with a grounder, but that was the second out of the inning. Wyatt got the final out on a tapper back to the mound and the Bandits held on for the 5-3 win.
The final game of the series - and the homestand - is Friday night. Jacob Barnes (1-1, 1.72) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Dail Villanueva (3-1, 2.97) is scheduled to start for Quad Cities. Game time is 6:35pm.
Friday is a North Shore Bank Family night. Children 12 and under eat free. After the game, children 14 and under may to participate in Kids Run the Bases presented by Jernegan's Health Mart.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm. Friday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
Juan Castillo (4th, 1 on in 2nd inning off David Goforth, 0 out)
Luis Mateo (4th, 1 on in 4th inning off David Goforth, 0 out)
WP: Sam Gaviglio (2-2)
LP: David Goforth (3-2)
SAVE: Heath Wyatt (5)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.