COUGARS' SKULINA, DORRIS NO-HIT BANDITS, 3-0
Quad Cities held hitless for seventh time in 55-year franchise history, first since May 7, 1998
GENEVA, Ill. (May 17, 2014) – Kane County right-hander Tyler Skulina pitched 7 1/3 hitless innings, and left-hander Nathan Dorris got the final five outs of the seventh all-time no-hitter against the Quad Cities Midwest League franchise, coming in the Cougars' 3-0 victory Saturday over the River Bandits at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
Kane County (28-14) pitched the eighth no-hitter of its 24-season franchise history. Saturday's feat was the first no-hitter in the Midwest League this season and came one day short of exactly three years after the Cougars' last no-hitter May 18, 2011, when Sugar Ray Marimon went 7 2/3 innings, and Chas Byrne pitched 1 1/3 innings for a 2-0 no-hitter at Cedar Rapids. Quad Cities (19-22) was no-hit Saturday for the first time since May 7, 1998, when Burlington's Lance Davis and Dan Timm combined for a no-hitter.
Skulina (2-1) pitched a perfect first inning, and the Cougars got on the scoreboard within their first two batters against River Bandits right-hander Andrew Thurman (2-3). Right fielder Jake Hannemann drew a leadoff walk, went to second base on a wild pitch, and scored on shortstop Carlos Penalver's single to left-center field. But Thurman got a strikeout, groundout and strikeout to keep the deficit at 1-0.
Skulina started the second inning by hitting first baseman Conrad Gregor with a pitch. A passed ball moved Gregor to second base, but Skulina got a popup by third baseman Jack Mayfield and groundouts by left fielder Ronnie Mitchell and right fielder James Ramsay to end the inning, stranding Gregor at third base – the first of two baserunners left by Quad Cities Saturday.
In the fourth inning, Quad Cities second baseman Chan-Jong Moon drew a leadoff walk, and Gregor drew a one-out walk to put runners at first and second bases. But on the first pitch to Mayfield, catcher Will Remillard threw to first baseman Jacob Rogers to pick off Gregor for the second out. Mayfield struck out to end the inning, beginning a string of the final 16 River Bandits being retired in order.
The Cougars added two runs against Thurman in the fifth inning. Center fielder Trey Martin hit a leadoff double down the left-field line and scored when Thurman made an errant throw to third base on a comeback ground ball by left fielder Shawon Dunston Jr., who reached second base. A wild pitch put Dunston at third, and he scored on Hannemann's sacrifice fly. Thurman was removed after 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs – one earned – on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Right-hander Patrick Christensen relieved for 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and right-hander Frederick Tiburcio followed with two perfect innings and four strikeouts in his Midwest League debut.
After Skulina retired his 11th straight hitter on Mitchell's groundout to open the eighth, he was removed from his longest career start to a standing ovation. Dorris escaped the eighth with groundouts by Ramsay and catcher Jake Rodriguez, who caught a no-hitter Tuesday with advanced Class-A Lancaster, but was 0-for-3 on the opposite end Saturday. In the ninth, Dorris struck out shortstop Thomas Lindauer, got center fielder Brett Phillips to fly out to center field, and retired Moon on a groundout to second base to put the date in the record books.
Quad Cities' league-leading team batting average dropped from .279 to .273, but it will seek a four-game series split against Kane County in Sunday's 1 p.m. finale. River Bandits right-hander Jandel Gustave (2-2) is scheduled to face Cougars right-hander Daury Torrez (4-1).
HOLBERTON HITS FOR CYCLE IN BANDITS ROUT
Designated hitter goes 5-for-5 with five RBIs, achieves first cycle by Quad Cities player in nine years
GENEVA, Ill. (May 18, 2014) – Designated hitter Brian Holberton became the first Quad Cities player to hit for the cycle in nine years with his first career triple in the seventh inning Sunday afternoon, and his 5-for-5, five-RBI day carried the River Bandits to a 10-3 win and four-game series split with the first-place Kane County Cougars at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
Holberton's cycle was the first for the Quad Cities franchise since April 19, 2005, when Brandon Yarbrough doubled, homered, tripled and singled in five at-bats in a 14-10, 11-inning win – also at Kane County. Holberton's cycle is the first in the Midwest League this season.
One day after being no-hit for the eighth time in franchise history, Quad Cities (20-22) got 17 hits against Kane County (28-15). Eight different River Bandits had a hit, and the visitors had at least one hit in eight different innings. Holberton had the only three extra-base hits.
A hitless streak of 11 2/3 innings ended when River Bandits center fielder Brett Phillips led off the game with a single to right field. A wild pickoff throw from right-hander Daury Torrez (4-2) sent Phillips all the way to third base, and shortstop Jack Mayfield brought in Phillips with a groundout. Kane County tied the game, 1-1, on right fielder Yasiel Balaguert's RBI double off right-hander Jandel Gustave (3-2).
Holberton's first at-bat came in the second inning, when he hit a one-out popup behind shortstop that Cougars shortstop Carlos Penalver lost in the sun, allowing Holberton to race to second base for a double. But Torrez and Penalver picked off Holberton to end the inning.
The 1-1 tie remained until the fourth, when Mayfield and first baseman Conrad Gregor hit consecutive singles. Catcher Brett Booth put down a bunt single to the third-base side, and Cougars second baseman Daniel Lockhart committed two errors – a missed a catch at first base and a wild throw to third base – to allow two runs to score and Booth to reach third. Holberton then hit his third home run of the season to right field, making it 5-1. In the fifth inning, Mayfield hit a two-out single and stole second base before scoring on Gregor's RBI single that chased Torrez, who lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs – six earned – on nine hits. Right-hander Michael Wagner allowed a single by Booth, followed by Holberton's RBI single to right field, but Balaguert threw out Booth to end the inning with a 7-1 score.
Gustave retired the final 11 batters of his season-high five-inning start, allowing one earned run on three hits. Right-hander Michael Feliz followed with 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing two earned runs on four hits – including first baseman Jacob Rogers' seventh-inning solo home run – with two strikeouts. Left-hander Albert Minnis got the final two outs on the mound.
After Mayfield and Gregor hit consecutive singles for the third time in the seventh, Holberton came up with one out. He lined a hit off Wagner into the left-center field gap and raced to third base with a head-first slide as the relay throw got away. Holberton scored his team's 10th and final run on third baseman Tyler White's sacrifice fly, and he added a ninth-inning single to left-center off right-hander Jose Arias.
Quad Cities opens a six-game homestand at 7 p.m. Monday when it faces Burlington (19-22) for the first time this season. River Bandits right-hander Edison Frias (1-2) is scheduled to face Bees right-hander Elliot Morris (2-1) in the series opener at Modern Woodmen Park.
UP NEXT: The official lighting of the Ferris Wheel will be a part of Markdown Monday when the River Bandits open their next homestand May 19 at Modern Woodmen Park. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and bleacher tickets, as well as hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, soda and beer are just $2 each for the 7 p.m. game. Tickets are available online at www.riverbandits.com. Don't miss the great light show that comes with the new Ferris Wheel! To order any of the ticket plans - with new lower prices - call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.