The Quad Cities River Bandits jumped in front early on, but couldn't hold the lead late and fell to the Kane County Cougars by a 5-2 score in front of 983 fans Wednesday night at Modern Woodmen Park.
The River bandits struck first by scoring a pair in the first inning against Kane County starter Jayson McKinley. Jake Meyers opened the frame by drawing a walk and then promptly stole second. He would advance to third on an ensuing single by J.J. Matijevic to put runners on the corners with no outs. Jonathan Arauz came through with an RBI single, but was thrown out trying to advance to second. Adrian Tovalin quickly extended the lead to 2-0 with a base hit of his own.
That lead held steady until the Kane County fifth. Cesar Rosado walked back-to-back hitters with one out before getting Tim Susnara to fly out to center for the second out. However, before Rosado could escape completely, Luis Basabe came up with an RBI single to cut the lead to 2-1. Basabe's hit was the first of the game for the Cougars.
The seventh inning turned out to be the decisive frame. Yoel Yanqui opened the inning with a base hit off of reliever Adam Bleday. Ernie De La Trinidad followed a Eudy Ramos strikeout with a single of his own and advanced to second on the throw, leaving two in scoring position with one out. Joey Rose drew a walk, but ball four came on a wild pitch that escaped to the backstop and allowed Yanqui to score from third to tie the game at 2-2. Rose stole second and then Bleday walked Tim Susnara to load the bases again. Robert Corniel replaced Bleday on the mound and issued a free pass to Basabe to force in another run and give the Cougars a 3-2 advantage. A sacrifice fly by Stephen Smith brought home the third run of the inning and made it 4-2.
The Cougars added one final run in the eighth off of Corniel. After the first two batters of the inning reached on walks, Susnara drove in Yanqui with a single.
Rosado went 5.0 innings and allowed one run on just one hit, while striking out four. Bleday allowed three runs on two hits and a pair of walks in 1.1 innings. Corniel walked five and surrendered one run in 1.2 innings. The final reliever, Cole Watts, turned in a clean ninth inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Three Bandits relievers combined to walk eight hitters in the final three innings. The River Bandits mustered only one hit after the second inning
The River Bandits (1-4) close out the series with the Cougars (3-3) Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Modern Woodmen Park. LHP Patrick Sandoval (0-1, 4.50) will take the ball for the River Bandits against Kane County LHP Mack Lemieux (0-1, 9.82).
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.