Fourth Inning Frenzy Pushes Bandits to Victory
South Bend, IN - The Quad Cities River Bandits scored five runs in the fourth inning to grab the lead and then held off the South Bend Cubs late in a 6-4 win on Sunday afternoon at Four Winds Field. Ramiro Rodriguez and Freudis Nova each pounded three hits, including an RBI double, to lead the Bandits offense.
Quad Cities (13-9, 56-32) entered the fourth inning trailing by a 2-0 score. Grae Kessinger started the rally by working a walk against South Bend starter Riley Thompson and was moved to third on Cesar Salazar's single through the right side. Nova put the Bandits on the board by rolling a double off the third base bag to score Kessinger and leave two in scoring position. Back-to-back RBI groundouts from Alex Holderbach and Jonathan Lacroix gave the River Bandits a 3-2 advantage. With the bases now empty, Austin Dennis restarted the attack by drawing a walk and was on the move when Rodriguez hammered a double to right center to extend the lead to 4-2. One final double, this one from Alex McKenna, scored Rodriguez and made it a 5-2 ballgame.
The River Bandits fourth, and final, double of the day came from Lacroix with one out in the sixth. Rodriguez capitalized once again with a base hit up the middle to plate the runner and widen the gap to 6-2.
After Bandits starter Jose Rivera departed, having allowed two runs in 6.0 innings. South Bend (12-11, 49-42) went to work on the bullpen. Luis De Paula, making his Midwest League debut, worked out of a jam in the seventh with the help of a double play, but wasn't as fortunate in the eighth. A leadoff walk was followed by a double and sacrifice fly that made it a three-run game. On a single by Luke Reynolds with two outs, Andy Weber went first to third and then was able to score on a throwing error by Rodriguez in right.
Devin Conn entered for the bottom of the ninth in a 6-4 game and walked the first two batters he faced to bring the winning run to the plate. However, after a visit from pitching coach Erick Abreu, he settled in and ended the game by getting a lineout, groundout and strikeout.
In addition to his three hits, Rodriguez led the team with two runs batted in. South Bend received two hits each from Andy Weber and Yonathan Perlaza.
The same teams will meet in a rubber match to close their series on Monday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. In the finale, the Bandits will throw RHP Felipe Tejada (4-0, 2.87) against Cubs LHP Brendan Little (0-1, 3.38).
All River Bandits games are broadcast on 1170 K-BOB and TuneIn Radio. Home games are also available with video on MiLB.TV.
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