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River Bandits Pound Timber Rattlers

Quad Cities River Bandits shortstop Carlos Correa blasted a solo home run as the second batter of the game and added a second homer in the eighth inning Sunday evening, and first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki added his second home run of the season in a 12-5 rout of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.

Moments after the first pitch was thrown at 35 degrees following a 27-minute weather delay, Correa snapped his 0-for-12 cold spell with his second home run of the season, sending the first pitch he saw from right-hander Leonard Lorenzo (0-1) just to the left of the batter's eye in center field. Wisconsin quickly answered against left-hander Joe Bircher. Left fielder Victor Roache launched a two-run home run to the scoreboard above two tiers of signs in left-center field in his first professional at-bat. Second baseman Chris McFarland made it back-to-back homers with his first of the season, extending the Wisconsin lead to 3-1.

Quad Cities (10-5) retook the lead in the next half-inning, as right fielder Ariel Ovando hit an RBI double to left-center field, and left fielder Jordan Scott placed a two-run, go-ahead single up the middle for a 4-3 lead. After Correa led off the third inning with an infield single, Wierzbicki extended the lead to 6-3 with a two-run home run to left field.

Bircher allowed Wisconsin (5-8) to close within 6-5 in the bottom of the third, as designated hitter Clint Coulter hit a sacrifice fly, and first baseman Adam Giacalone hit a run-scoring single to center field. But the River Bandits left-hander kept Wisconsin from pulling even, as he finished four innings, allowing seven hits, five earned runs and one walk while striking out three.

The River Bandits extended the lead in the fifth inning, as Correa drew a leadoff walk, reached second on a passed ball and scored when second baseman Austin Elkins hit a double down the right-field line. Wierzbicki followed with a walk to chase Lorenzo, and two batters later, third baseman Rio Ruiz lined a pitch from left-hander Taylor Wall to right-center field for a two-run double that made it 9-5. Lorenzo was charged with nine earned runs on eight hits in four-plus innings. He walked four batters and struck out two.

Quad Cities right-hander Michael Dimock (2-0) pitched a perfect fifth inning to qualify for the victory, and right-hander Vincent Velasquez took the ball with a 9-5 lead to start the sixth. He issued a leadoff walk to Giacalone and gave up a one-out double to third baseman Jose Sermo before retiring the final 11 Timber Rattlers, including five on strikeouts, for his second four-inning save this season.

Correa capped a 3-for-4, four-run, three-RBI day with a two-run homer against in the eighth inning against right-hander Damien Magnifico, who later threw a wild pitch that allowed Elkins to score the final tally in a 12-5 victory.

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