The Quad Cities River Bandits used another stellar pitching performance and timely hitting to knock off the Kane County Cougars by a 3-2 score on Saturday night at Modern Woodmen Park. Brett Daniels and Humberto Castellanos combined to strike out 13 batters on the mound as the Bandits improved their record to 38-20.
The River Bandits used a two-out rally to take an early lead off of Kane County starter Justin Lewis. David Hensley drove a fastball over the right field wall for his fourth home run of the season to give the Bandits a 1-0 lead. In the next two at bats, Trey Dawson and Michael Wielansky both singled to extend the inning. Ross Adolph took advantage by rolling an RBI single through the left side to double the lead.
Kane County (31-30) cut the lead in half in the top of the fifth inning. Tra Holmes started the inning with a bunt single and then moved to second on another base hit from KeShawn Lynch. Holmes advanced to third on a bouncer to the right side and crossed the plate on Eduardo Diaz's sacrifice fly to left field, reducing the lead to 2-1.
Quad Cities added a big insurance run in the home half of the sixth. Ruben Castro opened the inning with a groundball single up the middle. A pickoff throw bounced away from first baseman Zack Shannon, allowing Castro to move into scoring position. A Freudis Nova roller to the right side pushed him to third base with one out. With the Cougars infield in, Cesar Salazar chopped a bouncer to second and Lynch fired to the plate to try to cut down Castro. The throw beat him, but on the slide he knocked the ball loose to add a run to the advantage.
The final run of the game belonged to the Cougars when they received a solo home run from Alek Thomas in the top of the seventh. Castellanos retired the final eight hitters of the game to close it out. He earned the save after working 3.0 innings and striking out four. Daniels, the starter, picked up the win by tossing 6.0 innings and recording a career-high nine strikeouts.
The River Bandits reduced their magic number to win the Western Division to three games as second-place Burlington lost to Clinton. The Bandits can secure a playoff berth with either a win or Cedar Rapids loss in the final eight games of the first half.
The River Bandits and Cougars continue their series on Sunday evening at 5:15 p.m. The Bandits will have RHP Jose Bravo (0-1, 4.66) on the mound for the third game of the series while Kane County will send RHP Kyle Weiss (4-4, 4.20) to the hill. It will be Faith and Fellowship night at the ballpark presented by Moody Radio and Chick-fil-A. Fans are invited to bring their dogs with them to the game as every Sunday is a Bark in the Park day and kids can run the bases following the game.
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.