Three Bandits Combine to Shut out Wisconsin
DAVENPORT, Iowa - Joshua James went 5 2/3 shutout innings, followed by Michael Freeman retiring seven straight batters and Riley Ferrell working a scoreless inning, while the Quad Cities River Bandits' offense pounded out 15 hits in their sixth straight win - a 5-0 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in front of 7,318 at Modern Woodmen Park Saturday night.
The River Bandits (23-13 second half, 68-36 overall) had a hit from every player in their lineup to extend the club's longest winning streak since a season-high 12-game winning streak April 29-May 11. Quad Cities became the first team in baseball to win 68 games this season and continued to improve upon the franchise's best overall record - now 32 games above .500 - in 23 seasons.
After allowing 11 runs in his last 11 innings, James (4-2) allowed just six men to reach on Saturday, yielding three hits and walking three batters while striking out four. With a 3-0 lead, the right-hander gave way to Freeman in the sixth inning with runners at first and second bases and two out. A passed ball moved two runners into scoring position before Freeman struck out McCall, ending the inning. Freeman went on to strike out three more in his outing, turning things over to Ferrell in the ninth. Ferrell walked one batter in an otherwise spotless inning to lower his earned run average to 1.20 in 10 appearances and close the door on the club's 11th shutout - its most in five seasons.
Wisconsin (13-22, 36-69) put James in a jam right away with back-to-back, two-out baserunners in the first inning on a hit by catcher Carlos Leal and a walk to right fielder Elvis Rubio. James was able to recover, getting first baseman Alan Sharkey to pop out to shortstop Kristian Trompiz to end the inning. The Timber Rattlers had only three baserunners reach scoring position, with one left on base in the first inning and two in the sixth inning.
The River Bandits' offense got started with a first-inning, two-out rally of their own. Second baseman Nick Tanielu doubled to left and then scored on a Ryan Bottger single to left field to put Quad Cities ahead, 1-0. After a walk to designated hitter Ramon Laureano, third baseman Jose Fernandez drove in Bottger on a base hit to right, doubling the lead.
Quad Cities added another run in the third inning. Laureano walked and was eventually retired at home plate on a fielder's choice that allowed Fernandez to reach first base. Then first baseman Bryan Muî=B1iz singled to left field, and an error by Wisconsin left fielder Mitch Meyer allowed Fernandez to score the third run of the game. Timber Rattlers left-hander David Carver (1-2) was charged with three runs - two earned - on eight hits and three walks with one strikeout in 5 1/3 innings.
The last two runs of the night for the River Bandits came in the eighth inning against left-hander Tyler Linehan. Fernandez led off with an infield single and stole second base before scoring on a single by Muî=B1iz. A wild pitch moved Muî=B1iz to second base with one out, and Trompiz reached on an infield single to put runners at first and third bases. Martin added an RBI single to right field to score Muî=B1iz for a 5-0 River Bandits lead.
The River Bandits go for their second straight series sweep and seventh consecutive win overall at 5:15 p.m. Sunday against Wisconsin. River Bandits right-hander Brock Dykxhoorn (5-3, 3.74) is scheduled to face Timber Rattlers right-hander David Burkhalter (3-6, 4.71).
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