Tyler White and Ronnie Mitchell each post three hits to help Quad Cities snap three-series losing skid
DAVENPORT, Iowa (May 7, 2014) – Trailing 3-0 in the sixth inning Wednesday night, the Quad Cities River Bandits drew six walks to tie the game without the help of a hit, and a bases-loaded, eighth-inning walk drawn by shortstop Jack Mayfield gave the home team the lead in an eventual 7-3 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels in front of 1,182 at Modern Woodmen Park.
One day after collecting a season-high 18 hits, Quad Cities (14-18) drew a season-high 10 walks in addition to nine hits Wednesday to win consecutive games for the first time in two weeks. The series win over Cedar Rapids (18-14) was also the River Bandits' first in two weeks.
The Kernels had the early momentum, however. River Bandits left-hander Evan Grills began the game by allowing singles to designated hitter J.D. Williams and second baseman Logan Wade. First baseman Chad Christensen hit a ground ball to Mayfield, who was unsuccessful in attempting to force out Williams at third base. With the bases loaded, Grills induced a ground-ball double play – the first of a season-high three turned by Quad Cities – that brought in a run. Right fielder Zack Larson hit a high chopper for an infield RBI single to make it 2-0. After a walk, third baseman Bryan Haar singled to left field, and Ronnie Mitchell threw out Larson trying to score.
In the second inning, Kernels center fielder Jason Kanzler had a leadoff bunt single, and shortstop Engelb Vielma doubled past first baseman Conrad Gregor. With runners at second and third, Williams hit a sacrifice fly to advance both runners, but Wade grounded to second baseman Chan-Jong Moon, who threw home to retire Vielma. Grills picked Wade off first base to end the inning with a 3-0 deficit. Grills then allowed just two hits the next three innings to complete five innings, allowing eight hits and three earned runs.
Kernels right-hander Kohl Stewart shut out Quad Cities for the first five innings. He scattered five hits and two walks while striking out six batters. Although he allowed only one runner to reach third base, the River Bandits stranded seven runners on base in the first five innings.
In the sixth inning, Kernels left-hander Derrick Penilla made his Midwest League debut and retired White on a leadoff groundout. That was the only ball put in fair play in the inning, but eight more batters came to the plate. Penilla walked Mitchell before striking out designated hitter Chase McDonald. With two outs, Penilla walked catcher Brett Booth, center fielder Brett Phillips and right fielder James Ramsay in order to force in a run. Right-hander Yorman Landa (3-1) entered to promptly walk Moon for another run, and a passed ball by catcher Mitch Garver allowed the tying run to score. Landa walked Mayfield for the fifth straight of the inning before striking out Gregor.
In a 3-3 tie, Landa pitched into the eighth inning, when he hit Phillips with a one-out, 0-2 pitch. Ramsay ripped a double to right field to move the go-ahead run to third base, and right-hander Hudson Boyd came in to issue consecutive walks to Moon (his team-season-high fourth of the game) and Mayfield, with the latter scoring the go-ahead run. Gregor added a sacrifice fly, and White and Mitchell hit RBI singles to cap each of their three-hit games. The River Bandits have had nine batters in an inning three times in the last two games.
Right-hander Edison Frias (1-1) earned the win by allowing two walks and a hit in the scoreless sixth through eighth innings. Right-hander Andrew Walter worked around a leadoff walk for a scoreless ninth. The bullpen allowed one Kernel to reach second base.
Quad Cities seeks its first three-game winning streak since April 13 in a home series opener against Beloit at 7 p.m. Thursday.
UP NEXT: Thirst-Day Thursday presented by Rock 104-9 and the River Cities' Reader means $2 drink specials for the 7 p.m. game at Modern Woodmen Park. Tickets are available at www.riverbandits.com. 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.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 110 feet over the playing field, is opening in May, along with a carousel, a new ride called a "Drop and Twist," an expanded 300-foot long zip line, and many other new games and attractions. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. The team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, just saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.