Kernels stroll by Bandits
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Quad Cities River Bandits pitchers walked a season-high eight Cedar Rapids Kernels hitters in a 5-2 defeat at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Cedar Rapids led 1-0 heading to the bottom of the third against Quad Cities starter Adrian Houser, who got Joel Licon to groundout to begin the frame. However, Houser walked Jon Murphy and Engelb Vielma, each of the next two batters, before exiting for reliever Tyler Brunnemann, who promptly walked Ryan Walker to load the bases. Chad Christensen lofted a sacrifice fly to right to bring in Murphy before Mitch Garver, who went 2-for-3 with two doubles, whammed a two-run, two-base hit to put the Kernels up 4-0.
Houser (4-2) lost for the first time since May 4, surrendering three runs on two hits with two walks and a strikeout in 2.1 innings.
Quad Cities was able to answer in the top of the fourth when Ronnie Mitchell singled to right with two men away. The next batter, Tyler White, lined a ball down the right field line. Murphy, the Cedar Rapids right fielder, roamed over towards the line and dived for the ball but came up empty, having it roll all the way behind him to the wall. Mitchell scored and White chugged into third with his first career triple. Brian Holberton then singled through the right side to plate and make it 4-2 in favor of Cedar Rapids. White, Holberton and Jose Fernandez each had two hits in the game for the Bandits.
However, that was the only damage Cedar Rapids starter Ryan Eades (4-7) would allow all night. The right-hander scattered nine hits in seven innings, helped by five River Bandits outs on the bases, to earn the win.
With the River Bandits still down 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Quad Cities reliever Kevin Comer issued a free pass to the leadoff man Christensen, plunked Garver with a pitch and then walked Haar to load the bases with nobody out. The Bandits brought in Frederick Tiburcio, who struck out Jason Kanzler with a check-swing on a pitch in the dirt. Kanzler argued the call with home plate umpire Patrick Sharshel, who ejected the Cedar Rapids center fielder from the game. Tiburcio then struck out Tanner Vavra but issued a walk to Joel Licon to bring home another run, making it 5-2 Kernels.
The River Bandits begin their final series of the first half of the season Friday at 7 p.m. when they host the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Modern Woodmen Park. Quad Cities is scheduled to send Andrew Thurman (3-3, 5.23 ERA) against Wisconsin's Victor Diaz (1-2, 4.15).
UP NEXT: The River Bandits return home at 7 p.m. Friday for a Fireworks Friday presented by Smart Toyota of the Quad Cities, WLLR and WQAD, and the team will wear special pink jerseys that will be up for auction on Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Genesis Health Systems and the Quad-City Times. To order any of the River Bandits 2014 ticket plans - with new lower prices - call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 105 feet over the playing field, opened May 24, to be followed by a new ride called a "Drop and Twist," an expanded 300-foot long zip line, and many other new games and attractions. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. Last season, the team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.