DAVENPORT, IOWA (August 4, 2021) — After driving in four runs his last time out, John Rave posted a five-RBI night on Tuesday to lead the Quad Cities River Bandits to a 8-3 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels in their first game of the season at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
In his first start since 2019, Yohanse Morel matched Kernels’ starter Jon Olsen in a scoreless first inning, but saw the Kernels take the lead in the second when his lead-off walk to Wander Javier scored on Max Smith’s in-field single to give Cedar Rapids a 1-0 lead.
Morel’s night would only last 1.1 innings as Dante Biasi took over on the mound for the Bandits with one out in the second and allowed his inherited runner to score on Gabriel Maciel’s sacrifice-fly.
After a scoreless third, Quad Cities finally got to Olsen in the fourth as Nathan Eaton reached with one out, and then, two pitches later, scored on Rave’s first RBI of the night, a run-scoring double that cut the Bandits’ deficit to 2-1.
Olsen and Biasi both worked scoreless fifth-innings before Quad Cities loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth and drove Olsen from the game. Andrew Cabezas then entered to face Rave, who greeted the righty with a bases-clearing triple, his first of the year, that all of a sudden put the Bandits up 4-2.
The very next batter, Gabriel Maciel, took his first pitch from Cabezas and doubled to left, bringing in Rave and a 5-2 Quad Cities advantage in the process.
Biasi worked into the bottom of the sixth inning for the Bandits, but was removed after walking Seth Gray on four consecutive pitches to begin the inning. Will Klein then took the ball for Chris Widger and saw Michael Helman reach on an error before allowing a single to Max Smith and a sac-fly from Maciel that brought in Gray to make it 5-3. However, Klein then struck out Edouard Julien and Alex Isola to end the threat.
Cabezas settled down in the seventh and stranded a two-out walk, while Klein set down the Kernels one-two-three in the bottom-half.
In the eighth, Gavin Stupienski took advantage of an error that allowed Garcia to reach with one out and doubled in his team’s sixth run of the game.
Quad Cities then became the only team to score in consecutive innings when Nick Loftin’s lead-off double, that extended his hit-streak to sixteen games, set up Eaton to drive him in two batters later. After a passed ball that allowed Eaton to move to second, Rave picked up RBI number five and put Quad Cities up 8-3 with a punch up the middle.
Having helped Klein work a perfect eighth, Garrett Davila remained on the hill in the ninth and faced the minimum en route to his fourth save of the season and a series opening win for the River Bandits.
After working 3.2 innings of one-run ball, Biasi (4-1) got the win for the visitors, while Olsen (1-4) got hooked with the loss, surrendering four earned in five innings.
Quad Cities will look to extend its winning streak to six games on Wednesday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Charlie Neuwieler (1-1, 5.75) gets the start for the Bandits and will go up against Tyler Watson (2-1, 1.68) for the Kernels. 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.