The Quad Cities River Bandits completed a 6-0 road trip to the Eastern Division with a 4-3 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon at Parkview Field. The Bandits remain alone in first place in the Western Division after sweeping consecutive series.
After six scoreless innings to start the game, the River Bandits (18-10) finally broke through in the top of the seventh inning. Jeremy Pena legged out an infield single to start the attack. He was able to advance into scoring position when reliever Austin Smith committed a balk. Enmanuel Valdez took advantage of the mistake by lining a single into center field that plated Pena and gave the River Bandits a 1-0 lead. Valdez moved to second on the throw to the plate and advanced to third on David Hensley's fly ball to right. A groundball off of first baseman Nick Feight allowed Valdez to score from third and give the Bandits a 2-0 lead.
Fort Wayne (12-17) was able to even the game in their half of the eighth. Valdez misplayed a groundball to third from Grant Little to start the inning with a two-base error. The TinCaps got on the board when Agustin Ruiz followed the error with a booming double to left field. Dwanya Williams-Sutton pulled theme even with a sharp single up the middle. Bandits pitcher Luis Garcia stranded the go-ahead run with three consecutive strikeouts.
Neither team scored in the ninth inning so the game carried into extra-innings. The Bandits came up empty in the top half of the 10th frame, leaving Fort Wayne with a chance to win in the bottom half. The TinCaps put the winning run on third with no outs after a leadoff bunt single, but Garcia wiggled off the hook with two groundballs and a strikeout.
Quad Cities jumped back on top in the 11th. An errant pickoff throw to second from Carlos Belen moved Dawson to third base. With one out, Jonathan Lacroix's shallow fly ball to right was misplayed by two outfielders for an error that allowed Trey Dawson to score. Before the inning concluded, Valdez added another RBI single to widen the gap to 4-2.
In the bottom of final inning, Fort Wayne used a fly ball and a groundout to score the runner from second base before Devin Conn shut the door with a strikeout of Feight to end the game.
Garcia earned the victory by working 5.0 innings and allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits. He struck out a game-high six batters. Brett Daniels, who started the game, went 5.0 scoreless innings while scattering four hits.
Valdez led the way offensively for the River Bandits with a 3-5 day at the plate including a double and two runs batted in. Pena added two hits of his own to the cause. Little paced Fort Wayne with a pair of hits.
The River Bandits return to the state of Iowa to host the Lansing Lugnuts in the opening game of a three-game set on Monday night at 6:35 p.m. The entire series will be played at Banks Field on the campus of the University of Iowa. Admission is free, but the River Bandits will be accepting donations to the Genesis Flood Relief Fund. RHP Austin Hansen (3-1, 2.00) will take the mound for the River Bandits against Lansing RHP Cobi Johnson (0-1, 3.38).
All River Bandits games are broadcast on 1170 K-BOB and TuneIn Radio. Home games are also available with video on MiLB.TV.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.