The Quad Cities River Bandits had their nine-game winning streak snapped by the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Monday night, suffering a 9-4 defeat in the first game of a doubleheader. However, the Bandits rebounded with a 7-0 win in the night cap to gain a split of the twin bill.
Cedar Rapids (16-21) shot out of the gate with a crooked number in the first inning of the opener. Bandits starting pitcher R.J. Freure hit the first batter of the game and walked the second. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position and Gabe Snyder's groundball to second pushed in the game's first run. A passed ball charged to catcher Alex Holderbach allowed a second run to come home and gave the Kernels a 2-0 advantage. Before the inning was over, Gabriel Maciel added a two-RBI single to center that doubled the advantage to 4-0.
Holderbach hammered his second home run of the season in the top of the second inning to cut the deficit in half at 4-2. His long ball off of Cedar Rapids starter Josh Winder came immediately after David Hensley had lined the Bandits first hit of the night into right field.
The deficit held at two until a fateful bottom half of the fourth inning. Cedar Rapids added to their lead by scoring five runs on three hits and an error in the frame. Snyder did most of the damage with a three-run home run to right and Andrew Bechtold added a two-RBI double to increase the lead to 9-2. Snyder finished with four runs batted in.
Quad Cities (22-11) did not score again until the top of the final inning. Ross Adolph and Trey Dawson opened the inning with walks off of Winder. A groundball from Enmanuel Valdez pushed across one run and Jeremy Pena lined a single into center in the next at bat to plate the final run of the game.
Freure allowed nine runs, eight earned, on seven hits over 3.1 innings. He had allowed just one run over his first 18.1 innings of the season. Joey Gonzalez worked the final 2.2 innings without allowing a run.
Holderbach was the only River Bandits player to tally multiple hits, while the Kernels received two hits from Jacob Pearson and Maciel.
The second game of the night featured a much better start for the River Bandits. The game was scoreless entering the third inning when the Bandits went on the attack. Austin Dennis led off with a base hit down the right field line and moved to second on Valdez's base on balls. Pena put the Bandits on the scoreboard by driving a triple over the head of the center fielder to score both runners. The shortstop would also score his own run on Hensley's chopper to short to make it 3-0.
That would turn out to be enough offense for the two pitchers who worked for the River Bandits. Matt Ruppenthal picked up the win by tossing 5.1 scoreless innings and collecting eight strikeouts along the way. Jonathan Bermudez closed the game by retiring all five hitters he faced and added four strikeouts of his own.
The Bandits weren't done at the plate though, doubling their lead in the sixth inning in support of those pitchers. The first three batters in the frame all reached to load the bases via a single and two walks. Hensley, the first hitter in the inning, scored from third on a wild pitch and the two remaining runners touched home plate on Ross Adolph's triple to center. Pena ripped his second triple of the night to start the seventh and scored on a Jonathan Lacroix sacrifice fly for the final run in the 7-0 victory.
The River Bandits will continue the series against the Kernels on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Cody Deason (1-1, 4.82) will start on the mound for the Bandits against Cedar Rapids RHP Luis Rijo (0-3, 4.05).
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.