Designated hitter Chase McDonald hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the fifth inning, and second baseman Chan-Jong Moon became the first Quad Cities player in more than 15 years to steal four bases in a game, leading the River Bandits to a 9-5 win over the Beloit Snappers in front of 1,465 at Modern Woodmen Park Wednesday night.
Led by Moon's four stolen bases - the best single-game mark by a Quad Cities player since at least 1998 - Quad Cities (26-26) stole eight bases, which was the highest single-game showing for the team since at least 2003. Moon stole one base in the first inning, two in the third inning and one in the sixth inning to raise his team-leading season total to 23. Catcher Brett Booth, left fielder Ronnie Mitchell, first baseman Jon Kemmer and shortstop Thomas Lindauer also each stole one base.
Beloit (23-29) jumped to an early lead against left-hander Chris Lee, as shortstop Melvin Mercedes hit a first-inning, one-out double, and designated hitter Jaycob Brugman hit thre first of his two home runs to right field for a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first inning, Snappers right-hander Bobby Wahl (0-4) allowed a leadoff walk to center fielder James Ramsay, and a wild pickoff throw sent Ramsay to third base. Moon drove in Ramsay with an infield single, stole second base, went to third base on a passed ball and scored the tying run on a single by right fielder Brett Phillips. Another wild pickoff by Wahl sent Phillips to third base, and McDonald lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in the go-ahead run. Lindauer added a fourth-inning RBI double to make it 4-2.
Lee worked around a baserunner in each of the second through fourth innings to keep Beloit off the scoreboard. In the fifth, Snappers catcher Jose Chavez hit a leadoff double, Mercedes drew a one-out walk, and Brugman went deep for the second time to give his team a 5-4 lead. Lee was removed after 4 2/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Right-hander Patrick Christensen (3-1) walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases before escaping the inning. Christensen went on to work 2 1/3 scoreless innings, yielding one hit and walking three batters while striking out two.
In the fifth inning against Wahl, Phillips led off with an infield single, and McDonald drove an 0-1 offering high down the left-field line for his second home run of the season and a 6-5 River Bandits lead. Kemmer followed with a single, stole second base and reached third on Chavez's throwing error, and scored on Mitchell's sacrifice fly off right-hander Stuart Pudenz, making it 7-5. Wahl was charged with seven runs - five earned - on nine hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. In the sixth inning, Pudenz walked Lindauer, allowed a single by Ramsay and bunt single by Moon to load the bases, and Phillips hit the team's third sacrifice fly for an 8-5 lead.
Moon and Mitchell tied for the game high with three hits, and the latter hit his fourth home run in the last eight games off right-hander Tyler Vail in the seventh inning for a 9-5 lead. Right-hander Andrew Walter held the score there with scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
Quad Cities continues the series against Beloit at 7 p.m. Thursday, when right-hander Michael Feliz (1-1) is scheduled to face Snappers right-hander Junior Mendez (2-2).
UP NEXT: All ladies age 18 and over receive $2 off ANY regular ticket to the Ladies Night game at 7 p.m. Thursday. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and the team store will offer 10% off women's apparel. Ladies 21 and over receive 2-for-1 $2 drink vouchers on Thirst-Day Thursday, which features $2 drink specials presented by Rock 104-9 and the River Cities' Reader. 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, opened 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. Last season, the team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, 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.