Michael Wielansky's go-ahead three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning helped the Quad Cities River Bandits earn a 5-3 victory on the same night in which they clinched a berth in the Midwest League playoffs. Earlier in the day, the Peoria Chiefs victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels secured the Bandits third consecutive postseason appearance.
The Bandits (39-20) put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Franklyn Soriano following a 70-minute rain delay. The game was delayed while the tarp was placed on the field after the sixth inning had concluded with the Bandits trailing 3-1. The rally began with Jeremy Pena beating out a broken bat infield single that deflected off of Soriano's bat. Cesar Salazar was hit by a pitch and David Hensley followed with an infield single to load the bases. Soriano hit Freudis Nova with another pitch to force in the first run of the frame and close the gap to 3-2. In the next at bat, Wielansky lined an 0-1 breaking ball into right center to clear the bases and give the River Bandits the lead.
Joey Gonzalez finished off the game by striking out five batters over the final 3.0 innings to earn the win. He had relieved starter Jose Bravo following the delay. Bravo went 6.0 innings on the hill and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits. He walked a career-high four batters.
Kane County (31-31) raced out of the gates with a multi-run first inning. The Cougars flied out to center on the first two pitches of the game, but then started stringing hits together off of Jose Bravo. Eduardo Diaz rolled a base hit through the right side and Buddy Kennedy followed with a base hit of his own to left to put two on with two outs. Blaze Alexander cashed in by kooking a two-run double down the third base line.
The teams traded single runs in both halves of the fourth inning prior to the Bandits comeback. Tra Holmes scored Geraldo Perdomo with his RBI single in the top half and Nova trimmed the deficit to 3-1 with a run-scoring double in the home half of the inning.
Wielansky, Pena and Hensley each finished with two hits in the game. Kane County also had three different players register three hits in the contest.
The River Bandits and Cougars will conclude the four-game set at 6:35 p.m. on Monday night. The Bandits are set to hand the ball to RHP Matt Ruppenthal (2-0, 2.33) with hopes of sweeping the series. LHP Michael Gelabert (1-1, 3.18) will start for the Cougars. River Bandits hats will be handed out at the gate and a fireworks show will follow the game thanks to Smart Toyota.
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.