DAVENPORT, Iowa - The Quad Cities River Bandits allowed three unearned runs in a 5-2 series-opening loss to the Kane County Cougars in front of 3,417 fans at Modern Woodmen Park on Wednesday night. With the loss, the River Bandits were officially eliminated from Midwest League playoff contention. Stephen Wrenn connected for his third home run of the year and Framber Valdez struck out seven batters over 6.2 innings in the losing effort.
The Cougars (28-37, 61-74) took an early lead with an unearned run in the first. Marcus Wilson knocked a one-out double and moved to third base on a passed ball. Stryker Trahan grounded out, scoring Wilson, to put the Cougars on top 1-0 before the Bandits (28-37, 59-75) could come to the plate.
Quad Cities took the lead in the third frame. Bobby Wernes led off with his second single of the game and Wrenn cranked his third homer of the year to make it a 2-1 advantage for the Bandits.
Kane County tied up the contest in the fourth. Fernery Ozuna dropped a double into right on a fly ball lost in the sky by Pat Porter. A wild pitch moved Ozuna to third and he came across on a single from Ramon Hernandez to tie the contest, 2-2.
The Cougars took the lead for good in the seventh. Ozuna led off with a walk, stole third base, and came home on errant through from Anthony Hermelyn trying to catch him stealing to push Kane County back in front 3-2.
Two unearned runs in the eighth added insurance for Kane County. With the bases loaded and two outs, Zac Person replaced Nick Hernandez on the mound, but a fielding error by Randy Cesar allowed Trahan and Hernandez to score and make it a 5-2 lead for the Cougars.
Valdez (1-3) dropped the decision despite tossing a quality start for Quad Cities. The lefty allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits and a walk while striking out seven over 6.2 innings.
Alex Gunn (1-0) took the victory in his Class-A debut for Kane County. The left-hander went six innings and scattered six hits while allowing two runs. Julio Perez walked the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth, but Austin Mason got Wernes to pop out to end the Bandits' playoff hopes and pick up his third save of the year.
The River Bandits look to RHP Hector Perez (2-1, 4.82) to even the series on Thursday night. Kane County sends RHP Carlos Hernandez (7-10, 2.66) to the mound in the 7:00 CT first pitch. It's the final Thirst-day Thursday at Modern Woodmen Park and fans can enjoy $2 beer and soda specials. After the game, fans can stick around for an awesome fireworks show! If you can't make it to the game, you can catch the radio broadcast with Jake Levy and Lance Ragland, starting with the River Bandits On-Deck Show at 6:45 p.m. on 1170 AM K-BOB, riverbandits.com and the TuneIn app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.