The Quad Cities River Bandits got off to a good start on Thursday night, but a 2-0 lead after five inning slipped away as the West Michigan Whitecaps rallied for six unanswered runs in a 6-2 win at Modern Woodmen Park.
Quad Cities (10-15, 40-55) dropped their fifth consecutive game, a span that has seen them muster just three runs against the top two teams in the league - first the Fort Wayne TinCaps and now the Whitecaps. West Michigan (17-9, 60-36) used a series of two-out hits to rally offensively, but starter Mark Sorenson's eight strong innings was the story of the night.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth. Matt Carpenter drew a walk to open the inning, and after a pair of fielder's choice groundouts Jarred Bogany worked the count full and took a free pass of his own. Frederick Parejo then delivered the only hit of the frame, a groundball double inside the bag at third that scored both runners and gave the River Bandits a 2-0 lead.
But Sorenson responded to the two-run double by setting down the next 11 men in order and 13 of the last 14 he faced. He needed just 97 pitches to get through his eight frames, fanning five while allowing two runs on five hits and two walks.
Meanwhile, Quad Cities starter Scott McGregor (4-7) cruised into the sixth inning with a shutout intact. But the Whitecaps rallied with two outs in the sixth. Ben Guez and Billy Nowlin checked in with back-to-back run-scoring singles to tie the score and chase McGregor from the game. Jordan Lennerton then greeted reliever Ramon Delgado with the third consecutive two-out, RBI-single of the inning, plating Nowlin to put the Whitecaps ahead, 3-2.
A leadoff walk turned into another run in the seventh, while Bryan Pounds launched a two-run homer in the eighth to make it a 6-2 ballgame.
UP NEXT: The ZOOperstars! presented by Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will be in town Friday to entertain the crowd, while fans will also be treated to post-game fireworks. The weekend continues on a Rockin' Saturday with a River Bandits hat giveaway for the first 2,000 fans thanks to Pepsi and a live concert by Minus Six. Rascal will celebrate his birthday with Mascot Mania on a U.S. Bank Family Sunday in which fans arriving early will receive a 2009 Team Photo from Heartland Chiropractic and kids that stay late will enjoy a marshmallow rainstorm during the FIRST EVER MEGA-CANDY DROP!!! Eventually, the homestand will conclude with a special 1:00 p.m. start time for Super Splash Day on Monday.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: The Quad Cities River Bandits drew more than 103,000 fans in the first half of the season for only the third time in team history. Ticket sales, concessions, merchandise sales, sponsorships and even Kids' Zone revenues are all up over last season, which was one of the team's best in history! Banditwear, mini-plans, and individual game tickets are on sale for the 2009 season by calling (563) 3-BANDIT or heading to www.RiverBandits.com. But hurry - good seats are going fast!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.