DAVENPORT, IOWA (August 26, 2021) — After only concluding half of last night’s twin bill, the Quad Cities River Bandits hosted the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for a Wednesday a second double-header at Modern Woodmen Park, and after dropping the first game 8-4, came back from down three to claim a 5-3 victory in game two.
River Bandits’ starter Christian Cosby immediately ran into trouble in Game One and saw Felix Valerio and Joe Gray Jr each smash a pair of two-run homers in the top of the first as part of an eight-batter inning that put the Timber Rattlers up 4-0 early.
After stranding a pair of runners in Quad Cities’ half of the first, Timber Rattlers’ starter Brandon Knarr saw a two-out error extend the inning for Tucker Bradley, who took advantage with a two-run single to cut his team’s deficit in half.
Cosby settled down and stranded a lead-off single in the second, but again fell victim to the long-ball in the third, as Gray Jr launched his second two-run shot in as many at-bats.
With the righty only able to work 2.1 innings, C J Eldred got the call out of the pen and surrendered a one-out, RBI single to Kekai Rios that extended Wisconsin’s lead to 7-2, before Eldred worked a double-play to end the inning.
Trailing by five the Bandits’ offense went cold against Knarr in the fourth and fifth with the lefty stranding three runners before giving way to Cam Robinson, who got an extra insurance run on Joey Weimer’s RBI single in the top of the sixth against Eldred.
Quad Cities again stranded runners in the bottom of the sixth against Robinson as the righty used a pair of strike-outs to send the game to the seventh.
Yohanse Morel, who recorded the final out of the top of the sixth, worked a scoreless top of the seventh and saw his offense scratch across two on Logan Porter’s two-run single in the bottom-half, but it was too little, too late, as Robinson got Nathan Eaton to bounce out to seal the Rattlers’ 8-4 win.
Thanks to five innings of work, allowing two unearned runs, Knarr (1-0) got the win for Wisconsin, while Cosby (3-3) took the loss after 2.1 innings, where the righty gave up a season-high seven runs on nine hits.
The Timber Rattlers also got off to a quick start in Game Two, and on the very first pitch from Emilio Marquez, to begin his High-A and River Bandits’ début, saw Weimer blast a lead-off solo shot for an instant Wisconsin advantage.
Joey Matulovich allowed traffic in his first two frames of work, but stranded a combined four runners before his offense struck for two more against Marquez in the third, thanks to a sac-fly from Zavier Warren and then an RBI double for Joe Gray Jr, who notched his fifth RBI of the night and extended his team’s lead to 3-0.
Quad Cities mustered just one hit in the third and fourth against Matulovich and struck out four times in those innings. But after Marquez posted a scoreless top of the fifth for his final frame, the Bandits strung together four straight hits in the bottom-half, the third of which featured a two-run double by Bradley to bring QC to within one. Two batters later, Michael Massey tied it up 3-3, with a sac-fly against newly-entered Harold Chirino.
Nathan Webb was called upon for the top of the sixth and gave Chris Widger a one-two-three inning, which allowed for Bradley to strike for his game’s second two-run double that put Quad Cities ahead 5-3 heading to the seventh, where Webb slammed the door with another clean inning to secure his team a split of the double-header.
The win went to Webb (2-1), his second of the year, as the righty struck out three and didn’t allow a base-runner. Chirino (4-3) ended up with the loss after giving up the go-ahead runs in two innings of work.
Game three of the series will kick off at 6:30PM CDT on Thursday and feature Dante Biasi (5-2, 3.47) for the River Bandits against Nick Bennett (2-3, 4.29) who toes the rubber for the Timber Rattlers.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: The 2021 season marks the River Bandits’ first year as a new Advanced-A Major League affiliate. As such, the team will be offering higher-quality baseball than has ever before been played in the Quad Cities. Additionally, the Bandits will welcome a new MLB affiliate to the Quad Cities, the Kansas City Royals. The River Bandits anchor the Quad Cities’ sports-market, which The Sports Business Journal named the top minor-league sports-market in the country in 2015 and second-best minor-league market in its 2017 follow-up ranking. In 2015, 2017, and again in 2019, the River Bandits earned Ballpark Digest’s award for “Best Charitable Works” in Minor League Baseball, the only club to win that coveted award three times. For more information, visit www.riverbandits.com or contact General Manager Joe Kubly at (563) 333-2768.