DAVENPORT -- The Quad Cities River Bandits came up just one hit short of a doubleheader sweep Saturday, leaving 15 on base in a 5-4, 10-inning second-game loss to Kane County in which they left runners in scoring position in three of the final four innings, Still, the resiliency the Bandits showed in that game and in their 2-1 first-game win was a big plus.|
"We know this is not the same team as last year,'' said Quad Cities manager Omar Lopez, referring to last summer's Midwest League championship squad. "We've got to battle and work hard. I was very happy with both games (Saturday). These guys know how to play hard and battle, and they're starting to see what they've got.''
Bandits' third baseman Tyler White earned himself a bit of first-game redemption. After dropping a fourth-inning pop fly that led to the Cougars' only run, White came through in the Bandits' final at-bat with a one-out single down the third-base line off Kane County reliever Tyler Bremer to cap Quad Cities' come-from-behind victory in the opener.
"It was definitely nice to go out that way after struggling,'' said White. "I think we've got a great group of guys who go out every night and play hard, and keep working toward the next game. We came back and put up a good fight in the first game.''
Kane County starting pitcher Tyler Skulina delivered six innings of two-hit baseball in the opener before being relieved by Zack Godley. The Bandits appeared to have tied the game when Jack Mayfield ripped Godley's first pitch off the top of the left-field fence that bounced back onto the field. Initially ruled a home run, the call was changed to a double.
As it turned out, Mayfield came home with the tying tally, taking third on a passed ball and scoring on a one-out wild pitch. Godley then walked Chase McDonald and Brian Holberton before Bremer allowed White's game-winning knock.
"I got a good pitch to hit,'' said White, "and I hit it where their third baseman wasn't.''
On the mound, Kent Emanuel and Jandel Gustave combined to hold the Cougars to two hits, with Gustave allowing just one baserunner in three innings to earn the win.
"Our pitching was pretty solid; they threw better (Saturday),'' said Lopez. "We put all the pieces together with pitching and defense and we're going to have better results.''
In the second game, QC starting pitcher Michael Feliz was touched for inning-opening homers by the Cougars' Jake Hannemann and Danny Canela. After the Bandits scored in the third, reliever Evan Grills surrendered a two-out, two-run single to Yasiel Balaguert to make it a 4-1 game.
The Bandits answered with a three-run sixth, tying the game on Mayfield's two-out, two-run single. QC then loaded the bases in the seventh and eighth and had the winning run at second in the ninth, but couldn't come up with the decisive hit.
Extra bases: The son of former Chicago Cubs' shortstop Shawon Dunston made his first appearance of the season on Saturday. Shawon Dunston Jr. started as the Cougars' designated hitter in the first game and in left field in the nightcap, going 1-for-6. The elder Dunston, who played with six teams in an 18-year Major League career, is a special assistant for the San Francisco Giants and played here with the Quad City Cubs more than 30 years ago.