Two teams going in different directions met up in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs. Predictably, the hotter club is moving on.
Steven Singleton ripped a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift host Beloit past Quad Cities, 5-4, on Thursday and complete a sweep of their first-round series.
Swing reliever Kenneth Maiques (0-1) struck out Garrett Olson to start the 11th, but surrendered consecutive singles to pinch-hitter Daniel Berg and Joe Benson. Singleton, who had been 0-for-5, doubled home Berg with the series-clinching run.
Benson went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and two runs scored. Rene Tosoni, Chris Parmelee and Chris Cates drove in the other runs for the Snappers, who have won six straight games.
The win was a fine consolation prize for Beloit starter Tyler Robertson. The left-hander tied his career high with 11 strikeouts and allowed five hits and three walks over 5 2/3 shutout innings. He was 9-5 with a 2.29 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 102 1/3 frames in the regular season.
"The atmosphere surrounding the game was exciting," said Robertson. "It was my first taste of postseason play as a pro and the first time I've been in a situation like that since high school. It was really cool."
The 19-year-old California native had a plan going into his start and followed it to perfection.
"My arm felt great. My command of the strike zone with not just one, but all of my pitches was fantastic," he said. "I got ahead of quite a few of their hitters. Strike one was the key. After getting that first one over, I could just rear back and pitch my game."
Beloit's Aaron Craig (1-0) surrendered one hit and a walk over two scoreless innings for the win. Danny Vais, Jose Lugo and Anthony Slama combined to allow four runs on five hits and a walk in 3 1/3 frames following Robertson's departure in the sixth.
"They [the Swing] had two left-handed hitters coming up in the sixth and my coaches sent me out there to try and get them," said Robertson, who was lifted after tossing 95 pitches. "When I left the game, I went and finished my side work and then watched from the stands. I had a feeling we'd pull out the win in the end, even after blowing the [4-0] lead. We've been rolling pretty good and I had a feeling we'd get to them in the end."
Pinch-hitter Tyler Henley's three-run homer tied the game in the eighth. Steve Hill started the comeback with a solo shot in the seventh for the Swing, who lost their final seven regular-season games.
Starter Brandon Dickson, who led Quad Cities with 11 wins, was pounded for four runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.