A rough road trip before returning home, the Quad Cities River Bandits were looking at being swept in a 4-game road series against the Burlington Bees, until Ronnie Mitchell came to the plate with teammate Brian Holberton on third. The Bees were ahead 9-8 until Mitchell sent the game winner over right field for his fourth home run of the season.
Plenty of hits and runs highlighted this game Tuesday night, with the River Bandits collecting 14 hits, while the Bees hit 15. Neither team wasted time, as the River Bandits put up two runs in the 1st. With James Ramsay walking, then stealing a base, Chan Moon tripled him home for the game's first run. Moon would then challenge home plate with a successful steal for the River Bandits' second run. Unfortunately, the Bees answered with four runs of their own at the bottom of the 1st.
Each team traded runs in the 2nd inning, but the River Bandits added two in the 3rd, one in the 4th, two in the 5th, before Mitchell's 2-run shot in the 7th. Mitchell had three hits, along with Moon. Other River Bandits collecting two hits were Holberton, Tyler White, and Jon Kemmer. Kemmer and Holberton also had home runs, but both were solo shots in the 4th and the 5th innings, respectively.
Albert Minnis (1-1, 5.56 ERA) came in the 6th inning to help starter Andrew Thurman, but allowed the go-ahead run to cross the plate for a blown save, but he was able to pitch for two more innings and the River Bandits regained the lead. Frederick Tiburcio came in the 9th inning to shut down the Bees for his first save of the season.
The first game on Sunday was the continuation of the game on May 21 that was called due to light failure at Modern Woodmen Park. The game resumed with the score tied at four after six innings and remained that way until the Bees poured in eight runs in the ninth - all charged to Edison Frias (1-3, 9.33 ERA). The River Bandits were unable to produce any runs to counter, dropping this one 4-12.
The second game on Sunday was quite different than Tuesday's game. The River Bandits were only able to produce two runs off three hits and three walks and went 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position. Jack Mayfield homered in the 2nd inning, which put the River Bandits up 2-0. Evan Grills put in a good six innings by yielding only one run off six hits, with one walk and two strikeouts. Reliever Tiburcio (0-1, 0.00 ERA) gave up two unearned runs on one hit and one walk, despite striking out five Bees, and didn't get any offensive support to take the loss, 2-3.
The third game in the series, played on Monday, was just as close, with the River Bandits leading most of the game until the Bees tied it in the 9th inning to send it to the 10th, where the Bees scored two more to win, 7-5. The River Bandits started big with a 4-run 1st inning with a double from Brett Phillips, scoring Ramsay, a single from Conrad Gregor, scoring Phillips, and a single from Mitchell, scoring Gregor and Holberton.
The River Bandits were good for one more run in the 4th, but then failed to score another the rest of the game. Starter Adrian Houser pitched five innings with four hits, three runs, one walk and four strikeouts, but Andrew Walter and Tyler Brunnemann (0-1, 1.85 ERA) were unable to close the door on the Bees.
The River Bandits (25-26) return home for three games against the Beloit Snappers (23-28) tonight through Friday before heading out to to Appleton, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 31 for a 3-game series with the Timber Rattlers (24-27). The River Bandits remain 9 1/2 games behind the Midwest League Western Division leaders Kane County Cougars. Go River Bandits!