CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Quad Cities River Bandits comeback fell short Sunday in a 7-4 loss to the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Chas McCormick had three hits and an RBI in the game while Nathan Thompson pitched three shutout innings of relief for Quad Cities. With the Western Division Championship Series now tied at 1-1, a decisive game three will take place Monday with a trip to the Midwest League Championship Series on the line.
All four of the Bandits (3-2, 79-59) runs scored in the sixth inning after Cedar Rapids (3-1, 75-65) rattled off the first seven runs of the game. Bryan De La Cruz , McCormick, and Colin Moran had consecutive RBI hits with two outs in the sixth, but the Bandits stranded the bases loaded in the inning.
Cedar Rapids got a two-run home run by Shane Carrier in the second inning as part of a three-run frame to open the scoring. Travis Blankenhorn then homered to lead off the third inning. Ronel Blanco (0-1) gave up both homers and allowed four runs over 2.2 innings to suffer the loss. Charlie Barnes (1-0) earned the win with five scoreless innings, scattering five hits and three walks. Hector Lujan worked around a lead-off double by Moran in the ninth to earn his third save of the post-season.
The Kernels got insurance with three runs in the fifth, which would prove to be the difference. Lewin Diaz and Caleb Hamilton knocked in runs then a groundout by Shane Kennedy allowed a third run to score. Lucas Williams finished off the third inning on the mound and tossed a scoreless fourth before running into the trouble in the fifth. He did retire three in a row to get out of the fifth on his own, but the damage was done. Thompson took over in the sixth and allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out five in three scoreless innings. He ended his day by striking out the side in order in the eighth.
The decisive game three will take place Monday at 6:35 p.m. CDT at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kit Scheetz gets the start for Quad Cities against Tyler Wells for the Kernels. Both pitchers make their second start of the 2017 playoffs. You can catch all the action live with Jake Levy on 1170 AM K-BOB, riverbandits.com and the TuneIn app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.