News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Friday, 05 April 2013 10:08

Correa drives in three, Peña knocks in two to back Velasquez and Bircher


GENEVA, Ill. (APRIL 4, 2013) – The Quad Cities River Bandits, as the brand-new Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, showed their star power early in Thursday’s season opener, as shortstop Carlos Correa hit a two-run double and RBI single, and right-hander Vincent Velasquez pitched five innings to earn the win in a 7-2 victory over the Kane County Cougars at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

Quad Cities (1-0) jumped on right-hander Pierce Johnson (0-1) for a five-run rally with two outs in the second inning. First baseman Jesse Wierzbicki hit a leadoff single and scored on a two-out RBI single from catcher Roberto Peña. Left fielder Jordan Scott added a single, and second baseman Joe Sclafani reached on a hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Then center fielder Teoscar Hernandez grounded an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop, and the Cougars’ Marco Hernandez threw wide of second base to allow two more runs to score. With runners at second and third, Correa slapped a line drive inside the third-base line to bring in two runs and make it 5-0.

Velasquez (1-0) rolled through his five innings and allowed only a two-run home run by designated hitter Rock Shoulders in the fourth inning that answered Correa’s two-out RBI single in the top of the inning and brought Kane County within 6-2. Velasquez allowed three hits, walked one batter, hit one and struck out five.

Following Velasquez, left-hander Joe Bircher began the sixth inning with a 6-2 lead. After allowing two one-out singles, Bircher induced a ground-ball double play and retired the final 10 Cougars in order, including four on strikeouts. His four shutout innings earned him his first professional save.

Seven different River Bandits collected hits to help Quad Cities avenge last season’s season-opening home loss to Kane County (0-1). Cougars first baseman Dan Vogelbach had two of his team’s five hits.

The River Bandits continue the season-opening series Friday night at 6:30 p.m., when right-handers Lance McCullers and Daniel Minor are scheduled to face Cougars right-hander Tayler Scott. The free live broadcast will be available at

Thursday’s victory also means The Captain’s Table at 4801 River Drive in Moline will offer The Captain’s Table Victory Discount on Friday, April 5. Anyone who mentions the River Bandits victory can receive a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two lunches or dinners with beverages on Friday, April 5.


UP NEXT: The final day of registration for the April 6 Bandits Race to Home 5K presented by Palmer Chiropractic Clinics is Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in-person only at Modern Woodmen Park. The 2013 home opener at Modern Woodmen Park is Thursday, April 11.Tickets for the 2013 season are now on sale! Call 563-324-3000 or visit It’s not too late lock in your season ticket plan for the 2013 season! Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $50. Call a River Bandits account representative today at 563-324-3000 to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.


ABOUT THE BANDITS: The River Bandits will make one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is scheduled to open in early June, along with two new zip lines, a carousel, a Frog Hopper, new bounce houses and many other fun attractions. The team also boasts a new major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, and fans will see last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, Carlos Correa. The Astros will also make the very first selection in the major league draft this June and could have another top pick end up in the Quad Cities. With new rides, new attractions, new improvements, a new affiliate and future major league stars, this season will be one every fan will not want to miss!
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