With temperatures in mid 70s and a gentle breeze blowing out, Wednesday was a beautiful night for baseball at Modern Woodmen Park.
It wasn’t such a good night for the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Beloit continued to befuddle Qc, ignoring a season record 20 games below .500 to beat the River Bandits for the sixth time in nine second-half Midwest League games by a 6-2 score.
The Snappers’ Reid Birlingmair, a right-hander selected by the Athletics in 28th round of the 2018 draft out of Illinois-Chicago, limited QC to one hit over six innings and benefited from an offense which collected all 11 of its hits in the game’s first six innings.
Winning for the fourth time in his last five starts to even his record at 6-6, Birlingmair struck out nine River Bandits and walked a pair while facing the minimum four times before Brandon Withers and Calvin Coker completed the three-hit, 15-strikeout victory.
The strikeout total was one shy of the season high for QC at the plate. The River Bandits whiffed 16 times in a June 1 game at Burlington.
The only hit Birlingmair allowed left the ballpark.
Oscar Campos lined a two-run homer over the fence in left in the bottom of the fourth, following a one-out walk to Grae Kessinger as QC briefly cut the Beloit lead to 3-2.
“He threw a good hard cutter to a lot of hitters, but I did not see one,’’ Campos said. “I was able to get ahold of a good pitch and get good contact.’’
The Snappers wasted no time regaining a larger lead.
Beloit leadoff batters reached base in each of the five innings worked by River Bandits starter Jonathan Bermudez and three of those hitters came around to score as the Snappers built a 4-2 advantage.
“It was a tough game, but it is just one game. We will come ready to go for the next one,’’ Campos said. “That is baseball. There is always the next game.’’
Four of the 10 hits allowed by Bermudez were doubles, including consecutive two-out two-base hits in the top of the second by Santis Sanchez and Nick Ward which led the Snappers to a 2-0 lead.
Beloit added a run in the fourth on a single by Joseph Pena before Campos swatted his third home run of the season, but didn’t give QC a chance to come any closer as Birlingmair retired the final eight batters he faced.
Max Schuemann opened the fifth with a double and scored on a single by Nick Osborne.
Luis De Paula replaced Bermudez (4-1) on the mound to open the sixth and after retiring the first two batters he faced the River Bandits’ right hander walked three straight batters.
Devin Foyle followed with a two-run single that provided the Snappers with their winning margin.
On a roll: The River Bandits’ Alex McKenna, Wilyer Abreu, Oscar Campos and Grae Kessinger all took the field Wednesday with hit streaks of at least six games.
QC managed just three hits in the game, but kept three of its streaks intact.
McKenna singled in the seventh inning to extend his ongoing streak to eight games, while Campos added to his now seven-game streak with a fourth-inning home run and Kessinger extended his streak to seven games with a ninth-inning single.
Take a base: The River Bandits are second in the Midwest League with 139 stolen bases this season, but QC baserunners lead the league in being caught trying to take an extra bases.
The River Bandits have been caught stealing 81 times, 12 more than any other team in the league and the second-highest total in all of minor-league baseball.
QC swiped just 91 bases in 2018 and current total is the team’s most since stealing 145 in 2015.
On deck: Beloit at QC, 6:35 p.m., today. Probable pitchers: Beloit, Rafael elly (5-4, 4.07 ERA); QC, Jose Rivera (5-4, 4.32).