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 Quad Cities River Bandits

Quad Cities' Comeback Spoiled in Walk-off Loss to Kernels

May 18, 2024 - Midwest League (MWL)
Quad Cities River Bandits News Release

Cedar Rapids, Iowa - The Quad Cities River Bandits battled back from a six-run deficit at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, but Kevin Maitan's walk-off triple handed the Royals High-A affiliate its seventh-straight loss, 6-4.

The defeat bumps the River Bandits back to .500 (19-19) for the first time since April 12 and to a 3-13 record in the month of May.

Having already been shut out twice during their series with the Kernels, Quad Cities stranded four men in scoring position over the first three innings and found itself down 6-0 after four. Cedar Rapids tagged Bandits' starter Henry Williams for six runs on a season-high nine hits, including four home runs- a pair of solo home runs for both Luke Keaschall and Ricardo Olivar.

While the bats struggled against Kernels starter Christain MacLeod (2.1 IP) and their first man out of the bullpen Jordan Carr (4.2), Quad Cities relievers kept the deficit locked at six, as Cooper McKeehan and Natanael Garabitos each tossed a pair of scoreless innings to get the Bandits to the ninth.

Quad Cities' comeback began in the eighth against right-hander Sheldon Reed. Set up by a Jack Pineda walk and Carter Jensen's one-out single, Brett Squires ended the shutout bid with an RBI single and helped put two runners on for Kale Emshoff. The first baseman then launched a three-run homer over the left field wall to chase Reed from the ballgame after just 0.1 innings and bring the Bandits within two, 6-4.

After Juan Mercedes quieted the Bandits eighth-inning rally with back-to-back outs, Justin Johnson and Carson Roccaforte both singled off the right-hander in the ninth to bring the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs. To snuff out the rally, Kernels' manager Brian Dinkelman brought in Midwest League saves leader Ricardo Velez.

Needing just one out to end the game, Velez surrendered consecutive singles, the first to Jensen to load the bases and the second to Squires who poked one up the middle for a game-tying, two-run single. Quad Cities failed to take the lead however, as the closer got Trevor Werner to ground out with the go-ahead runner stranded at third.

In the bottom of the ninth, it was Brooks Conrad's turn to call upon one of his top options, with the skipper bringing in Chase Wallace. Entering with a 0.69 ERA (1 ER in 13.0 IP), Wallace allowed a leadoff single to Rubel Cespedes, but got cleanup hitter Jay Harry to fly out.

The next batter, the newly signed Kevin Maitan, drove an 0-1 pitch to centerfield, where Roccaforte made a diving attempt on a sinking line drive, but failed to make the catch with the ball sneaking under his glove and rolling all the way to the outfield wall. Cespedes scored from first without a throw and Maitan was credited with a walk-off triple.

Despite blowing his first save of the season, Velez (3-0) earned the win for Cedar Rapids, while Wallace (0-1) surrendered just his second earned run of the season in his first loss. Mercedes (2) was credited with a hold, allowing two runs over 1.1 innings of relief.

The River Bandits will look to avoid a six-game series sweep on Sunday and send Shane Panzini (1-1, 4.24) to the mound against Cedar Rapids' Darren Bowen (2-2, 4.43). First pitch at Veterans Memorial Stadium is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

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Midwest League Stories from May 18, 2024

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