DAVENPORT, IOWA (July 20, 2019) — The Quad Cities River Bandits fell behind in the early going and had their comeback bid fall just short in a 3-2 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Saturday night at Modern Woodmen Park. With the Bandits down by a run and two on base in the bottom of the eighth, Alex McKenna’s fly-ball to deep-right was caught against the wall by Jordan Qsar to close the door on the River Bandits best chance at shocking the Hot Rods.
Chris Betts, the leading active home-run hitter in the Midwest League, staked Bowling Green (19-9, 58-40) to a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first inning with his 16th long-ball of the year. The first two Hot Rods hitters of the game reached base against Lupe Chavez, but a double-play was turned on a chopper back to the mound to give him a chance to avoid damage. However, a first-pitch breaking-ball to Betts was turned around and launched over the right-field wall to put the Bandits in an early hole.
In the next frame, with two outs and a man on second base, Izzy Wilson lined a triple into the gap in right-center. From that point forward, the Bandits pitching-staff shut down the Hot Rods offense. Chavez ended up lasting 4.2 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. Layne Henderson tossed 3.1 scoreless frames out of the bullpen and Devin Conn issued only a one-out walk in the ninth.
Quad Cities (15-12, 58-35) could not solve Bowling Green starter Alan Strong over his 7.0 innings on the mound. The right-hander allowed just three hits and struck out six to keep the Bandits off the board. When the Hot Rods went to the bullpen in the eighth, the bats started to come alive. Trey Dawson ripped a one-out double off of reliever Nathan Witt and scored when Ramiro Rodriguez’s fly-ball to the warning-track in left was dropped by Seaver Whalen. Oscar Campos followed up an Austin Dennis walk with a sharp RBI single through the left side to close within 3-2. The Hot Rods went to the bullpen with the tying run on second and Joel Peguero worked out of the jam by retiring McKenna and Freudis Nova. He also closed out the game in the ninth to earn his ninth save of the season.
Bowling Green collected eight hits in the victory. Ford Proctor and Whalen led the way with two hits each. Campos was the only River Bandits hitter with multiple knocks, going 2-4 with an RBI.
Game two of the set between the teams is set for Sunday evening at 5:15PM. The Bandits will have RHP Jose Alberto Rivera (5-3, 4.97) on the hill against Bowling Green RHP Easton McGee (7-2, 3.39). As is the case before every Sunday home game, players will be available on the field for autographs before the game. Following the game, kids will be allowed to run the bases.
Bowling Green (R-H-E): 3-8-2
Quad Cities (R-H-E): 2-6-2
Win: Strong (7-4)
Loss: Chavez (0-1)
Save: Peguero (9)
HR: Bowling Green: Chris Betts (16, 1st Inning, 1 on base)
HR: Quad Cities: None
All River Bandits games are broadcast on 1170 K-BOB and TuneIn Radio. Home games are also available with video on MiLB.TV.