DAVENPORT, Iowa - The Quad Cities River Bandits could not find an answer for Emilio Vargas, who struck out a career-high 17 batters in a 4-2 win for the Kane County Cougars on Saturday night in front of 3,967 fans at Modern Woodmen Park. Quad Cities scored two runs in the ninth, but could not complete the comeback. Jake Rogers collected two of the three Bandit hits in the game.
Vargas (4-6) struck out the side in order in the first and never looked back, striking out 17 batters over eight-plus innings of action in the winning effort. The right-hander allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits while not walking a batter. Austin Mason finished off the Bandits (27-28, 58-66) in the ninth to record his first save of the year for Kane County (23-32, 56-69).
Luis Barabe led off the game with a single and Fernery Ozuna gave Kane County an early advantage with a two-run homer to right. Later in the frame, Stephen Dezzi collected a single and scored on a two-out triple from Ramon Hernandez to make it a 3-0 lead for the Cougars before Quad Cities came to the plate.
Kane County added insurance in the eighth. Hernandez extended the frame with a two-out double and Sergio Alcantara followed with a run-scoring double to put the Cougars on top 4-0.
Vargas pitched into the ninth, but Rogers led off the inning with a triple off the wall in right and came home as Bobby Wernes reached on a fielding error. Mason replaced Vargas in the game and gave up a two-out, RBI-single to Dexture McCall to make it a two-run game. Quad Cities brought the tying-run to the plate, but Randy Cesar popped out and Kane County forced a rubber match with the 4-2 win.
Enrique Chavez (0-1) took the loss in his Bandit debut, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out four over four innings. Nick Hernandez tossed two scoreless innings in his Midwest League debut for Quad Cities, allowing just one hit and striking out one in the relief outing.
Quad Cities sends RHP Yoanys Quiala (2-9, 4.67) to the mound in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon. The Cougars put RHP Carlos Hernandez (6-9, 2.65) on the hill in the 1:15 p.m. first pitch. You can catch the radio broadcast with Jake Levy and Lance Ragland, starting with the River bandits On-Deck Show at 1:00 p.m. 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.