Record Modern Woodmen Park Crowd Boosts Bandits
DAVENPORT, Iowa - In front of 8,207 - the franchise's largest home crowd in at least 14 seasons - Quad Cities River Bandits right-hander Elieser Hernandez pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings for his first Midwest League win, and All-Star third baseman Nick Tanielu went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in a 7-1 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Modern Woodmen Park Friday night.
The River Bandits (22-13 second half, 67-36 overall) won their fifth straight game for their longest winning streak since a season-high 12-game winning streak April 29-May 11. They are also 31 games above .500 for what is believed to be the first time in 23 seasons. The 1992 Quad City River Bandits went 91-46 overall and were the last team in franchise history to finish a season at least 29 games above .500.
Before Wisconsin (13-21, 36-68) managed a hit off Hernandez (1-1), Quad Cities built a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Timber Rattlers right-hander Angel Ventura (5-5) began the bottom of the second inning by walking left fielder Drew Ferguson. After right fielder Ramon Laureano flied out to left field, second baseman Jose Fernandez hit a line drive down the third-base line for an RBI triple. First baseman Ryan Bottger lined out to Timber Rattlers first baseman Alan Sharkey for the second out, but catcher Trent Woodward reached when second baseman Tucker Neuhaus made an errant throw to first base, allowing Fernandez to score. The error extended the inning for shortstop Kristian Trompiz, who hit his fifth home run (first since June 1) over the Modern Woodmen Berm in left field for a 4-0 lead.
Hernandez yielded his first hit with two outs in the third inning, when Timber Rattlers shortstop Blake Allemand doubled to right field. Hernandez responded by striking out three of the next four batters. The only Wisconsin baserunner to reach third base against Hernandez was third baseman Sthervin Matos in the fifth inning. Hernandez hit Matos with a pitch for the second time in the game to lead off the fifth inning, and after left fielder Mitch Meyer's sacrifice and center fielder Francisco Castillo's two-out infield single, Hernandez got Allemand to fly out to center field, stranding runners at first and third bases with a 4-0 lead.
The River Bandits added a run off Ventura in the fifth inning, after designated hitter Jason Martin reached following a strikeout on Ventura's second wild pitch. Tanielu then doubled to right field, bringing in Martin for a 5-0 lead. Ventura lasted five innings, allowing five runs - two earned - on six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. Right-hander Gian Rizzo pitched a scoreless bottom of the sixth inning.
The last two River Bandits runs came off left-hander Kodi Medeiros in the seventh inning. Woodward hit a leadoff infield single before Trompiz reached on a fielder's choice, and Martin drew a one-out walk. Tanielu then drove in both baserunners with a double to center field over Castillo to make it 7-0. Tanielu's three hits Friday raised his batting average to .313 - fourth-highest in the Midwest League and best among players on Western Division teams - and his three RBIs Friday gave him a season total of 56 - the fourth-most in the league.
Hernandez scattered four hits and one walk while striking out eight batters, including the first two in the seventh inning. But Neuhaus then hit an infield single over the pitcher's mound that ended Hernandez's night. Right-hander Jorge Perez got the last out of the inning but allowed the only Wisconsin run in the eighth inning. Allemand led off by reaching second base on a dropped fly ball by center fielder Bobby Boyd. Right fielder Elvis Rubio reached on an infield single, with a throwing error by Trompiz sending Allemand to third base. Sharkey grounded an RBI single into right field before Perez got the last two outs of the inning, allowing one unearned run on two hits with one strikeout in 1 1/3 innings. Left-hander Zach Davis worked around a leadoff walk for a scoreless ninth inning to end the 7-1 victory.
The River Bandits continue their series with the Timber Rattlers at 6 p.m. Saturday, when Quad Cities right-hander Joshua James (3-2) is scheduled to face Wisconsin left-hander David Carver (1-1).
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