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Bandits pummel Kernels in series opener

Quad Cities uses six-run third inning and three-run fourth to open 10-3 lead and coast to 11-6 win
May 23, 2014

Quad Cities River Bandits left fielder Ronnie Mitchell homered for a second straight game and had a career-high four RBIs, six players had multi-hit games, and every player in the lineup contributed one of the team's 15 hits in an 11-6 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels in front of 4,387 at Modern Woodmen Park Thursday night.

Cedar Rapids (22-24) took the first lead of the game in the second inning against left-hander Chris Lee (2-2). Third baseman Bryan Haar hit a one-out infield single, left fielder J.D. Williams walked, and a two-out ground ball by catcher Michael Quesada got through shortstop Thomas Lindauer to score a run. In the next half-inning against right-hander Aaron Slegers (4-2), third baseman Tyler White and designated hitter Brian Holberton hit consecutive singles, and Mitchell lifted a game-tying sacrifice fly to center field.

In the top of the third inning, Kernels first baseman Chad Christensen hit a two-out single and scored on designated hitter Mitch Garver's double down the third-base line. Haar then doubled to right-center field, bringing home Garver for a 3-1 Kernels lead.

In the bottom of the third inning, Quad Cities (22-23) used its highest-scoring inning of the season to take a commanding lead. With one out, second baseman Chan-Jong Moon singled to right field, and right fielder Brett Phillips put a bunt single to the third-base side of the pitcher's mound. After a double steal by Moon and Phillips, first baseman Conrad Gregor hit a game-tying double down the right-field line. White then collected his 11th hit in four games against the Kernels with a go-ahead double down the left-field line. Designated hitter Brian Holberton singled up the the middle to put runners at first and third bases, and Mitchell drove a 1-0 offering from Slegers to the Built Ford Tough Deck in right field for a 7-3 lead. The six runs were the most in a single inning for Quad Cities this season.

The River Bandits added on to the lead in the fourth, when center fielder James Ramsay hit a leadoff double to the center field fence, followed by Moon's RBI double down the right-field line. Phillips then hit an RBI triple - his team-high seventh of the season - to right-center field, and Gregor singled him home for his third RBI and a 10-3 lead. Having given up hits to 10 of the last 12 batters, Slegers was removed without recording an out in the fourth inning. He was charged with 10 earned runs on 14 hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Lee allowed a walk and single for another run in the fifth inning but completed the frame for his first Midwest League win as a starter. He allowed four runs - two earned - on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Right-hander Andrew Thurman began the sixth inning and with one out, he allowed a single and back-to-back walks before a bases-loaded groundout brought in a run. Thurman retired eight of the last nine batters he faced in three innings, with the exception an eighth-inning, one-out solo home run by center fielder Jason Kanzler to the DHCU On Deck in right-center field. Thurman allowed two earned runs on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

The River Bandits tallied their final run in the seventh, when White led off with a hit-by-pitch against right-hander Yorman Landa and scored on Lindauer's RBI single. With an 11-6 lead, right-hander Frederick Tiburcio tossed a scoreless ninth inning in his home debut.

With sole possession of fourth place in the Western Division, Quad Cities will continue its series with Cedar Rapids at 7 p.m. Friday, when River Bandits right-hander Michael Feliz (1-1) is scheduled to face Kernels right-hander Ryan Eades (3-5).

UP NEXT: A limited number of tickets are still available for the Inaugural Ferris Wheel Ride event and fundraiser to benefit the Genesis Health Services Foundation May 24. Only the first 300 will be sold for the noon to 3 p.m. event at Modern Woodmen Park. Call 563-421-6865 or visit Modern Woodmen park to order tickets. To order any of the River Bandits 2014 ticket plans - with new lower prices - call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 110 feet over the playing field, will open May 24, followed by a new ride called a "Drop and Twist," an expanded 300-foot long zip line, and many other new games and attractions. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. The team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, just saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.