Quad Cities River Bandits could not pull the welcome mat away quickly enough as they hosted the Fort Wayne TinCaps for a three game series through Friday night, July 18. The TinCaps exploded for 35 hits and 23 runs, while taking all three games, 9-2, 7-4, and 7-0. The River Bandits could not even get a base runner to 2nd base as they grounded into three double-plays in the final shutout game.
River Bandit's starter Jandel Gustave (5-5, 5.18 ERA) had a pretty good outing, giving up six hits, two runs, two walks, while striking out nine TinCap batters, his personal best. Chris Cotton was not as fortunate in his two innings of relief, giving up four hits, four runs, and one walk, while striking out three. Andrew Walter finished the final two innings with three hits and one of each - run, walk, and strikeout.
James Ramsay, Brett Phillips, Ronnie Mitchell, Jose Fernandez, and Brett Booth all got to reach 1st base in Friday's game, but all were called out at 2nd base - one stealing, one in a force-out, and three as part of double plays. The River Bandits struck out six times, while only walking twice.
Wednesday's game was a little more productive for the River Bandits, as they got 10 hits, but that only yielded two runs. Brian Holberton hit three, including a double in the 8th inning, scoring Chase McDonald, who reached on a walk. The other run was scored in the 4th inning when J.D. Davis doubled home Marc Wik, who reached base with a double of his own.
Adrian Houser (4-4, 4.84 ERA) gave plenty for the TinCaps to hit in his seventh start for the River Bandits. Houser gave up six of the TinCaps' seven runs while giving up seven hits, three walks, but did manage to strikeout two. Newcomer Aaron Vaughn was able to quiet the TinCaps' bats while finishing the fourth inning for Houser and pitching another inning. Vaughn comes to the River Bandits after playing seven games in the Gulf Coast League for the Astros, which is a rookie league.
Thursday's game was the closest with the help of Phillips, McDonald, and Fernandez getting multiple hits. The 4th inning produced the most with Phillips leading off with a single, then making it to 3rd when Wik reached on a throwing error. Then, Mitchell singled home Phillips, McDonald singled home Wik, and Fernandez singled home Mitchell. It cut the TinCaps' lead to 3-5.
River Bandits would score again in the 6th inning to cut the lead by one with a solo home run by McDonald, but the TinCaps would beat up the River Bandits' bullpen for two more in the 8th.
The River Bandits look to stop their losing ways by taking on Lake County Captains for three home games starting tonight, July 19. The River Bandits are 12-15, which is seven games from the first place Kane County Cougars. The Captains are 15-12, which is three games behind the Eastern Division leader, West Michigan Whitecaps. Go River Bandits!