The Quad Cities River Bandits secured their 80th win of the season when they walked off the Peoria Chiefs on Sunday afternoon 2-1 at Modern Woodmen Park. Alfredo Angarita beat the tag of catcher Julio Rodriguez on a bases loaded chopper to short from Marty Costes in the bottom of the ninth to score the winning run.
Peoria jumped in front in odd fashion in the top of the first inning. Yariel Gonzalez slapped a groundball down the first base line that skipped underneath the bullpen bench in the right field corner. The right fielder, Costes, raced over and threw his hands in the air to signal that the ball was unplayable. However, before the umpire could run out to confirm the call, Costes picked up the ball and flipped it into the crowd. After a conversation behind the mound, the umpires awarded Gonzalez home plate and the Chiefs had an early lead.
For a long time, it appeared that the run would be the difference in the game. However, the Bandits managed to pull even in the eighth. Trey Dawson started the inning with a base hit into center field and advanced 90 feet at a time as both Costes and McKenna worked walks off of two different Peoria pitchers. Kodi Whitley then issued another free pass to Chandler Taylor to force in a run and tie the game 1-1.
The score remained tied into the bottom of the ninth, giving the Bandits an opportunity to pull out a win. Angarita opened the frame with a double over the head of the left fielder to put the winning run in scoring position. With one out, Dawson joined Angarita on the bases with a walk. Cesar Salazar bounced a ball toward the right side that was gloved by the first baseman Zach Kirtley. His throw to second pulled the shortstop, Rayder Ascanio, off the base and everyone was safe, loading the bases. Costes followed with the chopper to short and Rodriguez, the catcher, positioned himself in front of the plate to take the throw. Had his foot been on the plate it would have resulted in a force out, but instead his tag attempt was late and Angarita slid in with the run that ended the game.
The River Bandits and Chiefs each mustered six hits. Angarita went 2-3 with a walk to guide Quad Cities. Gonzalez was the only player on Peoria's side with multiple hits.
Luis Garcia, the Bandits starter on the mound, did not factor in the decision after allowing one run over 5.0 innings. Hansel Paulino pitched in with 3.0 scoreless relief innings, allowing three hits and striking out a pair. Tanner Duncan picked up the win by working a scoreless top of the ninth.
The River Bandits (40-29, 80-59) close out the regular season against the Chiefs (37-31, 76-62) at Modern Woodmen Park on Monday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. The Bandits will toss RHP Cesar Rosado (4-4, 4.27) in a match-up against Peoria LHP Jake Dahlberg (4-2, 2.93).
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.