DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The Quad Cities River Bandits erased an early five-run deficit for a 9-6 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels Sunday afternoon to clinch the second half Western Division crown in front of 3,101 fans at Modern Woodmen Park. Chuckie Robinson led the comeback with a three-run home run while Salvador Montano and Carlos Sanabria combined to allow just one run over the final seven innings on the mound.
The Bandits (41-22. 78-53) were shell-shocked by five quick Kernels (32-31, 71-62) runs over the first two innings. Travis Blankenhorn crushed a solo home run as part of the early onslaught. Robinson's 15th homer of 2017 started the comeback and then Abraham Toro went back-to-back with his ninth homer of the season to get Quad Cities within one. The Bandits then took the lead on RBI singles by Chas McCormick and Luis Payano in the fifth inning. Daz Cameron's second hit of the game drove in an insurance run in the sixth and then Toro singled home another run to round out the scoring.
Montano (8-3) hurled three scoreless innings, stranding the bases loaded in the fifth, and allowed two hits and two walks while striking out five Kernels. Tyler Beardsley (4-8) allowed seven runs on nine hits and three walks while striking one out in 4.1 innings to suffer the loss. Sanabria earned his second save of the year, allowing one run on five hits in four innings with four strikeouts and three walks. Yohan Ramirez allowed the five runs over two innings, but gets no decision thanks to the comeback.
The Bandits can take the series, earn a split of the 2017 season series with Cedar Rapids, and clinch the best record in the Western Division for the full 2017 season with a win in Monday's series finale. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CDT and gates open at 5:35 for a Beers and Brats Monday. Patrick Sandoval (2-2, 4.60) gets the start for Quad Cities against Bryan Sammons (2-1, 4.86) for the Kernels. The live radio broadcast is available 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.