The Quad Cities River Bandits received four hits and three runs batted in from outfielder Austin Dennis as they took down the Cedar Rapids Kernels by an 11-2 score on Tuesday night. The 11 runs were the most scored by the Bandits in a game this season. Quad Cities has won 13 of their last 15 contests.
The River Bandits (23-11) didn't wait long to jump in front, scoring an unearned run in the first inning. With one out, Enmanuel Valdez drove a double to the opposite field and then moved to third on Jeremy Pena's groundball through the left side of the infield. With runners on the corners, Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Luis Rijo attempted a pick-off throw to first base that bounced away and into foul ground, allowing Valdez to race home from third.
Cedar Rapids (16-22) evened the score with their own unearned run in the bottom of the second. The Kernels loaded the bases against Cody Deason with a walk, single and error. Jacob Pearson tied the game with a line drive single into center field, but Dennis threw out Gabriel Maciel at the plate to end the inning and keep the score 1-1. The outfield assist was the third of the year for Dennis in just 16 games in the outfield.
Quad Cities took the lead back for good in the top of the third. Pena opened the frame with a double to center field and eventually made his way to third base on Scott Schreiber's tapper to third. With two outs, Cesar Salazar punched a groundball past the third baseman to plate Pena and give the Bandits a 2-1 lead.
The lead grew in a big way during the top of the fifth. The Bandits loaded the bases with no outs against Rijo and capitalized immediately. Scott Schreiber made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly to left, an error by Gabe Snyder on Salazar's groundball to first allowed another run to score and Michael Wielansky worked a bases loaded walk to push the lead to 5-1. Dennis came up with his second hit of the game to drive in two more before the inning concluded with the Bandits leading 7-1.
Valdez widened the gap to 10-1 with his third home run of the season, a three-run shot, in the top of the seventh. Dennis dropped a single into shallow center in the ninth inning to score the River Bandits 11th and final run of the night. The Kernels used a leadoff home run from Chris Williams in the bottom half of the final frame to score their last run.
Deason earned his second straight victory by tossing 5.0 innings and allowed only an unearned run. Luis Garcia pitched the final 4.0 frames and allowed only the solo home run while striking out seven. The two right-handers combined to strike out 14 Cedar Rapids hitters in the game.
Aside from Dennis' four-hit effort, the River Bandits received contributions from up-and-down the lineup. Pena and Valdez each tallied three hits with Valdez finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Marty Costes collected a pair of hits and reached base three times while Wielansky earned his way on base three times with a double and two walks. The team's 15 hits matched their season-high.
The River Bandits and Kernels will close out the four-game series on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 12:05 p.m. RHP Brett Daniels (0-2, 3.18) will take the hill for the Bandits against Cedar Rapids RHP Andrew Cabezas (0-3, 4.21).
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.