Offense provided plenty of support for the defense, as the Quad Cities River Bandits plated 25 runs in the 3-game series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The River Bandit hitters combined for 10 doubles, one triple, and four home runs, and the wins put them a game above .500 at 24-23.
Everyone was a hitter in the first game Thursday, as the River Bandits took care of the Kernels 11-6. In fact, six River Bandits collected two hits each. Conrad Gregor hit three runs for the game, including two runs in a 6-run 3rd inning, which also saw Ronnie Mitchell send a homer over the right field fence with Tyler White and Brian Holberton on base. It was Ronnie's second home run in two games.
In the next inning, James Ramsay started a 3-run inning with a double to center field, and then scored on Chan Moon's double. Brett Phillips tripled home Moon, then scored when Gregor singled, forcing the Kernels' starting pitcher Aaron Siegers out of the game with 14 hits and 10 runs.
In Friday's game, the pitching trio of Michael Feliz, Patrick Christensen, and Chris Cotton allowed only three hits and two walks, while striking out eight, shutting out the Kernels 9-0. Starter Feliz had five of the strikeouts and both walks before leaving the game in the 5th inning. Christensen (2-1, 2.50 ERA) finished the inning and pitched two more, before Cotton finished the Kernels for good.
Again, the River Bandits pour it on during the 3rd and 4th innings. Phillips hit two in with a single, Holberton hit two in with his double, and Mitchell singled in Holberton to cap a 5-run 3rd inning. Thomas Lindauer started both innings with a double and scored both times. This time, Phillips homered Lindauer home. Jack Mayfield doubled a run in, along with Holberton singling the last run of a 4-run 4th.
Jandel Gustave (4-2, 4.10 ERA) of the River Bandits took care of the Kernels in Saturday's matchup. Gustave continued to put together strong starts, this time going 6 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits, two runs, two walks, while striking out eight. Andrew Walter finished the Kernels by allowing only one Kernel aboard for his fourth save, including making the last out with a grounder to him.
The Kernels were hoping for revenge by taking the lead into the 6th inning, but the River Bandits put together another 4-run inning. Gregor belted his first home run of the season, scoring Mayfield and Phillips. White homered right after Gregor, which was more than enough for River Bandits' 5-2 victory.
Among the Midwest League batting leaders, Phillips is second with seven triples for the season and Moon is fourth with five triples. Gregor is fifth in on-base percentage (OBP) with .413 and Phillips is sixth in slugging percentage (SLG) with .497.
The River Bandits travel to Burlington to take on the Bees in a 3-game set starting Sunday, May 25, then back home for three with Beloit on Wednesday, May 28. Time for the River Bandits to keep stringing some wins together as they march to the top of the division. Go River Bandits!