CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (September 1, 2021) — The Quad Cities River Bandits gave up a combined twelve runs in two innings on Tuesday en route to a 12-2 loss at the hands of the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Bandits’ offense was immediately stunned by Kernels’ starter, Louie Varland, who struck out seven in his first three scoreless innings. His opposition, A J Block, was up to the task as well and, like Varland, stranded a third-inning walk as his only base-runner through the first three frames.
In the top of the fourth, Quad Cities got a lead-off single by Tucker Bradley who, after Nick Loftin’s sacrifice-bunt and a Michael Massey fly-out, came in on an RBI single by John Rave to give his team a 1-0 lead. Varland issued a walk to Logan Porter, the next man up, but got Parker Bates to fly-out to end the threat.
Block also allowed his first run in the fourth, but the Kernels ended up posting a five-spot in the frame and, after tying the game on an Aaron Sabato RBI double, scored four more runs off of RBI singles by Michael Helman and Seth Gray, in addition to a Wander Javier fielder’s choice.
Varland kept the Kernel’s 5-1 intact and stranded a Kale Emshoff walk and a Will Hancock infield single in the top of the fifth, but newly-entered C J Eldred also posted a zero for QC and struck out a pair in his first inning of relief.
In the sixth, it was Andrew Cabezas who took over for Cedar Rapids and, after surrendering a lead-off walk to Massey, the righty retired the next three Bandits’ hitter in order with help from a pair of punch-outs.
However, the wheels came off for Quad Cities in the bottom-half of the frame where the Kernels strung together six straight hits, including an RBI single by Gray, an RBI double by Javier, and back-to-back homers by Edouard Julien and Alex Isola. Helman’s run-scoring knock against Ruben Ramirez, who allowed the Isola homer and a double to Matt Wallner earlier in the frame, pushed the Kernels’ advantage to 12-1.
Quad Cities got one more tally on Loftin’s RBI single in the seventh, but Tyler Palm pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth for Cedar Rapids to seal the 12-2 Kernels victory.
The win went to Varland (5-1), who struck out eight over five innings and allowed just one run, while Block (3-5) gave up five runs (four earned) over four and took the loss.
Game two of the series is scheduled to feature Christian Cosby (3-3, 5.01) on the hill for the Bandits against Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-1, 2.12) tomorrow at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35PM CDT.
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.