Bandits' Borchering stings former team

Astros prospect goes yard to earn 2-0 lead in the MWL Finals

Bobby Borchering hit five homers in 48 games for Quad Cities. (Greeneville Astros)

By Curt Rallo / Special to | September 12, 2013 8:04 PM ET

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Bobby Borchering played in 66 games for the Class A Silver Hawks in 2010, but none of them may have been more satisfying than the game he played in South Bend on Thursday night.

A 2009 first-round Draft pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Borchering struck back at his former team with a solo homer in the second inning and a walk that eventually led to a run to spark the Quad Cities River Bandits to a 5-0 victory over the Silver Hawks in Game 2 of the Midwest League Championship Series.

"I was just looking to go up the middle, and I got one over the middle of the plate," Borchering said of his home run. "Luckily, I put a good swing on it. I was happy to put a run up on the board to get things started."

The first baseman's effort helped the River Bandits take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series. Quad Cities will host the rest of the series, beginning with Game 3 on Saturday.

Acquired by the Astros last July in a trade that sent Chris Johnson to the D-backs, Borchering took time off after Spring Training for what he termed a confidential matter. He started this season with Rookie-level Greeneville before moving up to Quad Cities. The former switch-hitting third baseman changed positions and batted.203 in 48 games for the River Bandits.

"I don't mind running into former players," South Bend manager Mark Haley said. "I just don't want to see them rounding the bases against us."

Borchering said he has no animosity toward the D-backs and took no special pleasure in besting the Silver Hawks.

"The main thing is, it was a big game for our team, going back home with two wins is always a big plus," he said. "I had a great time when I was in South Bend. The trade was business. I'm just happy to be with the Astros now and playing ball.

"For me, the main thing is knowing what I need to do to be successful and finding the things to give me advantages. I feel like I'm starting to do that now. I feel like I can build on this in the offseason, and then come out next year and have a good year. Confidence-boosters never hurt."

Quad Cities manager Omar Lopez said he expects Borchering to rise through the Astros organization.

"Bobby is a great human being," Lopez said. "I love having Bobby here. I think he's enjoying this atmosphere that we have. He's working hard. I know he's been going through a lot of stuff, but he's here and we've been helping him get back his swing. He's shown some flashes. It's part of the process, start over and let's go forward. He has a great attitude, and I think he can make it. He's still young [at age 22]. There's no age limit. Guys make it to the Majors when they're 30. I really think Bobby can make it."

Rio Ruiz, the Astros' No. 14 prospect, belted two doubles and scored twice for Quad Cities.

Southpaw Joe Bircher (2-0) picked up the win after yielding six hits over five innings. Right-hander Jamaine Cotton struck out six in three perfect innings of relief and lefty J.D. Osborne tossed a hitless ninth for the River Bandits.

Curt Rallo is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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