The Quad Cities River Bandits remained unbeaten playing as the Treasure Hunters by doubling up the Clinton LumberKings 8-4 on Thursday night at Modern Woodmen Park. The Treasure Hunters turned an early 3-0 deficit into a 7-3 lead by scoring six runs on eight hits in the bottom of the third inning.
The decisive third inning began with Quad Cities (26-20, 69-43) trailing 3-1. The Treasure Hunters were able to quickly turn that two-run deficit into a four-run advantage. The first six batters of the inning collected consecutive hits off of Clinton starter Remey Reed. The inning began with back-to-back doubles from Austin Dennis and Wilyer Abreu that closed the gap to 3-2. After a single by Alex McKenna, Oscar Campos rolled a two-run double into the left field corner that put the Treasure Hunters on top 4-3. An RBI single by Freudis Nova continued the hot start to the inning and then Grae Kessinger put an exclamation point on the frame with his second home run of the season to widen the gap to 7-3. Quad Cities finished the inning with eight hits, the most in a single inning this season.
The LumberKings (26-10, 59-56) did all of their damage against Treasure Hunters starter Jonathan Bermudez. The lefty surrendered three runs in the second inning when he struggled with his command. The bases became loaded with a walk, hit by pitch and a single and a second walk forced in the first run of the game. Christopher Torres followed with a roller through the right side of the infield that drove in two more and staked Clinton to a 3-0 lead. The final batter Bermudez faced, Peyton Burdick, grounded a base hit off of the pitcher's glove with the bases loaded in the fourth inning to close the Treasure Hunters lead to 7-4. The southpaw allowed four runs on three hits and five walks in 3.2 innings. He also hit two batters with a pitch.
The Quad Cities bullpen enjoyed a dominant night with Layne Henderson and Jose Alberto Rivera combining to strike out 11 Clinton hitters over 5.1 scoreless innings. Henderson replaced Bermudez with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and recorded the final out without any more damage. He then proceeded to strike out five of the final nine hitters he faced in the game. The save belonged to Rivera after he pitched the final 3.0 innings allowing just one base runner on a walk. He whiffed six as the trio of pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts in the game.
The first run of the night for the Treasure Hunters came across on one swing of the bat from Nova, who launched his third home run of the season, a solo shot, in the bottom of the second. The final run of the game, which pushed the lead to 8-4, crossed the plate in the fifth inning when Michael Wielansky singled home Ramiro Rodriguez.
The Treasure Hunters finished with 11 hits in the game while Clinton managed just five. Dennis, McKenna, Nova and Wielansky each finished with two hits. Dennis played in a game for the first time since being hit in the face with a pitch on Sunday in Kane County.
Quad Cities will shoot for a sweep of the series on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Matt Ruppenthal (3-5, 4.75) will take his turn on the mound for the Treasure Hunters against Clinton RHP Jake Walters (3-3, 2.67). The special Treasure Hunters jerseys will be auctioned off following the game with proceeds benefitting Goodwill of the Heartland. In addition, Smart Toyota will present another post-game fireworks show.
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.