Though Class A Quad Cities scuffled early in its playoff game on Saturday night, the bats came through at the right time.
Josh Rojas delivered a walk-off single in the 10th inning to lift the River Bandits to a 5-4 win over Cedar Rapids in Game 1 of the best-of-3 Midwest League semifinals at Modern Woodmen Park.
Video: Rojas rips walk-off single
"We've played four games, the first round was all playoff atmosphere-type games, all close and this one obviously the same," River Bandits manager Russ Steinhorn told the Quad-City Times. "We're battle-tested and that's a good thing."
Trailing 4-0, the River Bandits rallied with four runs in the seventh. Rojas drew a one-out walk before Raymond Henderson and Kristian Trompiz hit consecutive two-out singles. Bryan De La Cruz lined a single to left that plated two runs, ending the night for No. 18 Twins prospect Tony Watson.
Gameday box score
Facing reliever Logan Lombana, Chas McCormick came through with an RBI base knock. Quad Cities tied the score when 2017 top overall Draft pick Royce Lewis couldn't handle No. 6 Astros prospect Colin Moran's grounder to short.
With Ryan Mason (0-1) on the hill, Moran led off the 10th with a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Luis Payano. After a sacrifice bunt by Chuckie Robinson moved Payano to second, Abraham Toro-Hernandez was intentionally walked to set the stage for Rojas. The 26th-round pick in this year's Draft smacked a single into right to plate Payano, who slid around the tag of catcher and No. 21 Twins prospect Ben Rortvedt.
"Once they walked Toro and had a meeting on the mound, I knew I was facing a sinker-changeup guy, so I knew they were probably telling him I'd been chasing off-speed down in the dirt all game and probably the last couple times we played them," Rojas told the newspaper. "I just knew that at-bat I was going to see it up and not go after their breaking balls in the dirt and I did that."
Complete playoff coverage
Game 2 is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. ET on Sunday in Cedar Rapids.
In other playoff action:
Dayton 2, Fort Wayne 1
Wennington Romero allowed an unearned run on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings as the Dragons took Game 1 of their semifinal series. No. 22 Reds prospect Jose Siri went 3-for-4, while third-ranked Taylor Trammell drove in a run with a single. Game 2 is slated for Sunday in Fort Wayne. Box score