With a 9-5 victory over the Beloit Snappers, the Quad Cities River Bandits are headed back to the Midwest League Championship, where they won it all in 2011, The River Bandits scored in 5 straight innings in Monday night's divisional finals, which was enough to hold off a 3-run rally that the Snappers produced in the 8th inning.
7 River Bandit batters had multiple hits and provided more runs than the previous 2 games in the best-of-3 series. Bobby Borchering and Jordan Scott led the team with 3 hits a piece, while Correa, named Midwest League Postseason All-Star, led the team with 3 runs batted in.
The scoring for the River Bandits started with a 2-run 2nd inning, when Borchering lined a single to left field, and Rio Ruiz followed with a 2-run homer over the center field fence. Ruiz was 1 of 3 River Bandits that homered in this game. The 3-run 3rd inning started off with the other two River Bandit sluggers - Teoscar Hernandez and Correa hitting back-to-back homers. The 3rd run of this inning occurred on a rare play when Danry Vasquez stoled home. Vasquez reached earlier in the inning on a walk, which forced Snappers' starter Derek De Young to an early exit.
In the 4th and 5th inning, the River Bandits continued the streak of scoring with Correa hitting a ground ball for an out, but scored Brian Blasik in the 4th, while Scott doubled Borchering home in the 5th.
For the final scoring inning, the 6th, Correa smashed a triple on a rope to right field, which scored Hernandez. Correa would later score on Vasquez's single to left field. At that time, the River Bandits were well ahead, 9-2.
River Bandit's starter, Daniel Minor (3-2), turned in a spectacular game by going 6 innings and giving up only 2 runs off 6 hits. Only the 5th inning was when the Snappers were able to get more than 1 hit per inning off Minor, who ended up striking out 6 and walking no one. In relief, Juan Minaya started off the 7th inning with no trouble as he took care of all three batters, but struggled to get an out in the 8th, as Minaya surrendered 3 straight singles, and then walked in a run. That was all Manager Omar Lopez needed to see, as he brought in Mitchell Lambson to finish the game, as the River Bandits held on to win 9-5.
The River Bandits are scheduled to take on the South Bend Silver Hawks, who also won 9-5 over Fort Wayne TinCaps. The 1st game is scheduled for September 11 @ 6:05pm in South Bend, Indiana. The 1st two games will be played in Four Winds Field in South Bend for this best-of-5 series, with the remaining 3 games scheduled in Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport. The Silver Hawks are 5th in the Midwest League in team batting average and 7th in team pitching ERA. The River Bandits are 12th in team batting, but 4th in team pitching. Both teams have 85 wins this year, but the Silver Hawks have 1 more loss.
The River Bandits have already defeated this season's top winning team, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, so they will take that confidence to attack the Eastern Division's representative, the Silver Hawks, in this championship series. Go River Bandits!