DAVENPORT, IOWA (September 13, 2021) — Despite falling behind by two games in the series, the Quad Cities River Bandits avoided their second series-loss of the season on Sunday and beat the Peoria Chiefs 8-3 at Modern Woodmen Park to earn a split of the six-game set.
With the game’s offense being contained to two innings, both teams scratched across a run in the first. For Peoria, it was Jordan Walker, who launched a solo homer against Christain Cosby for his third dinger of the series, while the Bandits tied it up against Mac Lardner in the bottom-half with Nick Loftin’s RBI in-field single, which plated Maikel Garcia, who opened the frame with a double and then a steal of third.
After giving up a two-out two-bagger to Todd Lott in the first, Cosby then settled in to retire fourteen straight batters, including five of his seven strikeouts.
Lardner also took command against the Bandits’ line-up and stranded just three base-runners over his next four scoreless innings.
In the top of the sixth, after allowing a lead-off double to Francisco Hernandez, Walker got the best of Cosby for a second time and broke the 1-1 tie with another home run — a two-run blast over the center-field wall that put Peoria on top 3-1.
Cosby rebounded after the blast and got Jhon Torres to ground out for the second out, but Mitch Ellis would come on and conclude the inning.
For the first time in the game, Peoria took the field behind its bullpen in the bottom of the sixth and saw lefty Fabian Blanco walk Nick Loftin and Logan Porter and allow a single to Michael Massey to load the bases with no one out. The fourth man up, John Rave, would be the last he would face, as the Bandits’ center-fielder worked an RBI walk to make it a one-run game.
Nic Trogrlic-Iverson then took the hill for the Chiefs with no one out and the bases loaded and hit Nathan Eaton with a pitch to tie the game. After giving up the lead by waking Parker Bates, Will Hancock ripped a full-count two-run double down the first-base line to put the Bandits up 6-3. The righty then traded a run for the first out, when the eighth man to hit in the inning, Garcia, drove in a run on a grounder.
Tucker Bradley made it 8-3 with an RBI single before Loftin, in his second trip to the plate in the inning, notched his third base hit of the game and forced Peoria to bring on a third arm in Diego Cordero, who got a pair of pop outs to end the seven-run QC surge.
In response, the Chiefs got little going against Ellis, who remained in the game to pitch a scoreless seventh and eighth, before Caden Monke faced the minimum in the ninth to close out the River Bandits’ win.
Thanks to 2.1 innings of scoreless relief-work, Ellis (8-2) earned his team-best eighth win of the season, while Blanco (2-6) got the loss allowing four runs and failing to record an out.
Quad Cities will conclude its regular season schedule against the South Bend Cubs next week, with game one of the six-game series beginning at 6:30PM CDT on Tuesday at Modern Woodmen Park.
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.