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River Bandits Outlast Cougars To Move Into First

After losing an early 5-0 lead and trailing 8-5 in the seventh inning Thursday night, the Quad Cities River Bandits tied the Kane County Cougars in the eighth inning, and left fielder Terrell Joyce hit a go-ahead double in the 10th inning of a 9-8 win at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

Early rain and the return of chilly temperatures that surrounded the opening weekend two weeks ago could not cool off the River Bandits as visitors to Kane County. With their fifth win in as many games at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, the River Bandits (9-3) moved one-half game ahead of Cedar Rapids (9-4) for first place in the Midwest League Western Division. However, Quad Cities fell behind Kane County (4-8) for the first time in a game this season before rallying to win the third consecutive extra-inning game between the clubs.

The River Bandits took a 5-0 lead by putting their first six batters on base in the second inning against right-hander Lendy Castillo. First baseman Jesse Wierzbicki tripled, third baseman Rio Ruiz walked, and catcher Roberto Peña hit an RBI single. Right fielder Ariel Ovando then snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a three-run home run to right field. Joyce followed with a double, giving the River Bandits the combined cycle through the first five batters of the inning. Joyce scored when Cougars center fielder Trey Martin misplayed a single by River Bandits center fielder Teoscar Hernandez.

The Cougars answered against left-hander Colton Cain in the next half-inning with a three-run home run by catcher Willson Contreras. Cain also allowed three straight hits to start the third inning, and an error by Ovando in right field on a single by first baseman Dan Vogelbach, allowed two runs to score and tie the game. Designated hitter Rock Shoulders broke the 5-5 tie with a single up the middle to drive in Vogelbach. Shoulders later scored on a wild pitch by Cain to make it 7-5. Quad Cities right-hander Gera Sanchez started the fourth inning and allowed an RBI single to Marco Hernandez, who led the Cougars with three hits.

River Bandits right-hander Mike Hauschild (1-0) started the sixth inning and held Kane County to one hit and two walks while striking out one batter in four shutout innings. Meanwhile, Quad Cities came back against right-hander Justin Amlung, who started the fifth inning and kept Quad Cities scoreless until the seventh, when second baseman Austin Elkins drew a leadoff walk, and designated hitter Chase Davidson singled to center field. Consecutive groundouts by Wierzbicki and third baseman Ryan Dineen drove in both runners to make it 8-7. Joyce reached on a fielder's choice in the eighth inning and scored on an RBI double by Teoscar Hernandez.

In an 8-8 tie against right-hander Stephen Perakslis, right fielder Jordan Scott drew a one-out walk and ran on the pitch that Joyce drove to the right-center gap for his second double and third hit of the night. Right-hander John Neely pitched a perfect 10th inning with one strikeout for his second save.

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