PEORIA, Ill. -- Two ninth-inning walks led to a walk-off single by Evan Mendoza to down the Quad Cities River Bandits, 4-3, to the Peoria Chiefs Wednesday night at Dozer Park. The Bandits were left standing by Peoria three times in the regular season as well. Chas McCormick had a pair of hits and an RBI while Josh Rojas and Kristian Trompiz also drove in runs for Quad Cities.
The River Bandits (0-1) and Chiefs (1-0) met for the first time in a post-season game despite the two being in the Midwest League together for the past 35 years. Peoria opened the scoring Wednesday night when back-to-back hits led off the home second, allowing Juan Yepez to plate a run on a fielder's choice ground out. The Bandits took the lead in the fourth inning when Rojas hit a sacrifice fly after Colin Moran was hit by a pitch and Abraham Toro doubled. Toro would later score on a single by Trompiz in the inning.
A Brian O'Keefe sarifice fly tied the game for Peoria in the sixth, chasing Kit Scheetz from the game after 4.2 innings. He left with a runner at second and two outs, who scored on three straight walks from reliever Jesus Balaguer . McCormick hammered a triple in the seventh to plate Luis Payano and tie the game, which remained until the ninth. Mick Fennell worked a walk to lead off the inning then was sacrificed to second before a wild pitch gave him third base. Another walk put runners at the corners and a ground ball, which could have been a double play, skipped into right field because the runner at first was stealing, allowed the winning run to score.
Devon Carr (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing one run in two-plus innings on one hit and two walks while striking out three. Yeison Medina (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win. Michael Feliz made his second rehab start for the Bandits and worked a 1-2-3 first inning while Ian Oxnevad allowed two runs on three hits in six innings for Peoria.
The Bandits face a must-win scenario Thursday night in game two of the best-of-three series as the scene shifts to Modern Woodmen Park. The Bandits need a win to force a potential game three Friday night, which would also be in Davenport. Cristian Javier (2-0, 2.39) gets the start for Quad Cities against Peoria's Austin Warner (2-4, 3.00) at 6:35 p.m. CT. $2 drink specials are on tap plus the first 400 fans in the gates will get a free playoffs t-shirt, courtesy of Power Grafx. The game will be available live on radio on 1170 AM K-BOB and TuneIn internet radio, simulcast on MiLB.TV.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.