SOUTH BEND, Ind. — For the second straight night on the road, the Quad Cities River Bandits were victims of a South Bend rally.|
The Midwest League's Eastern Division leaders broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday, and QC stranded a season-high 15 runners on base in a 6-4 setback at Coveleski Stadium.
The Bandits (15-10) wasted a pair of walks in the ninth inning, for their season-high-tying 11th free pass of the game, with Teoscar Hernandez flying out to end the threat.
That gave Enrique Burgos his second save of the season, and the hosting Silver Hawks (18-6) their seventh straight win.
Despite the loss, QC remained three games out of first place in the Midwest League Western Division and will try to avoid its first sweep by an opponent this season tonight in the 6:35 series finale in South Bend.
As happened Wednesday, the Bandits bolted to the early lead, opening the game with a run on three walks and a hit batter in the first inning against South Bend starter Kyle Schepel.
However, the Silver Hawks quickly snatched the lead back with three runs in the bottom of the frame against QC's Mike Hauschild, powered by a two-run double from Ryan Court.
The Bandits battled back, though, on this season's third homer from Jesse Wierzbicki (third inning solo shot) and RBI singles from Ryan Dineen and Jobduan Morales to tie the game in the seventh.
Wierzbicki finished with two hits, Dineen added two RBIs for the Houston Astros' Class A affiliate.
South Bend rallied for the victory when Colton Cain (0-3) surrendered three straight hits after shutting out the Silver Hawks in his first two innings of relief.
Frazier Hall had the go-ahead RBI single to chase Cain, and Breland Almadova grounded out to the shortstop to drive home the insurance run against QC's last of four relievers, John Neely.