PEORIA, ILLINOIS (May 27, 2021) — After dropping the series opener on Tuesday, the Quad Cities River Bandits dished out nine extra-base hits including a season-high five long-balls to defeat the Dayton Dragons 15-5 on Wednesday night at Day Air Ballpark.
Both starters gave up runs through the first three innings as it was the River Bandits who got out to the early 3-0 lead on Spencer Stockton thanks to Vinnie Pasquantino’s league-leading eighth homer of the season.
In their half of the first, Dayton manufactured a run against Zach Haake with a pair of singles; the second of which earned an RBI for Juan Martinez who brought in Jacob Hurtubise to make the game 3-1.
The River Bandits got the run back immediately in the top of the second courtesy of a Tyler Gentry solo shot, but the home team tied the game in the bottom half as five consecutive Dragons reached, including RBI knocks from James Free and Victor Ruiz, and ended with an infield hit from Hurtubise whose bunt brought in James Free to tie the game at 4-4.
The tug-of-war continued in the third as Michael Massey and Free both brought in runs on RBI two-baggers, which put the game at 5-5 heading into the fourth.
With Haake’s day done after 3.2 innings, Quad Cities turned to Will Klein who quieted the Dayton bats and faced the minimum through 1.1 innings.
For the Dragons, it was Johnnie Schneider who took over for Stockton — who gave up five earned over five frames — and immediately walked Nathan Eaton before Gentry doubled him home to give QC the 6-5 lead. After two more walks and an RBI groundout from Eric Cole, Schneider then walked Nick Loftin before being pulled for Karson Lindell. The righty issued a walk of his own and then a run-scoring single by Pasquantino, who spiked the Bandits’ lead to 11-5.
The bottom of the sixth saw Klein issue no-out and one-out walks before giving the ball to Mitch Ellis who struck out Michael Siani to post the Dragon’s third scoreless inning of the night.
Neither team produced in the seventh, as Lindell worked around two walks prior to Ellis’s perfect frame, and then Quad Cities blew the contest open in the eighth when Jeison Guzman and Massey launched homers off of Lindell. One batter later, Nathan welcomed Francis Peguero to the game with his second dinger of the year for back-to-back jacks.
Now working with the 15-5 lead, Ellis stranded a man in the bottom of the eighth before doing it again in the bottom of the ninth to close out a scoreless 3.1 inning outing and the River Bandits league-high 14th win of the season.
Klein (1-0) earned the win for Quad Cities after two scoreless innings of relief, while Schneider (0-2) took his second “L” of the season and was marked for five earned over one out of work.
Game three will feature Anthony Veneziano (0-2, 8.22) making the start for the River Bandits, while the Dragons will send Miguel Medrano (0-0, 0.00) to the hill for his first start of the season on Thursday at 6:05PM 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.