Designated hitter Jobduan Morales went 2-for-5 with five RBI and a grand slam to lead the River Bandits offense to a season-high 17 runs, and defeat the Loons 17-6 in front of 1,536 fans at Modern Woodmen Park on Tuesday night.
The River Bandits jumped on the board early. Carlos Correa chopped a high-bouncing ground ball over third baseman Paul Hoenecke for a one out single in the first, and scored the game's first run on Roberto Pena's double to left field.
Joe Sclafani led off the Quad Cities' second inning with a single to right field, and scored two batters later on Terrell Joyce's RBI-single to right field. Teoscar Herandez belted a double off the wall in left to drive home Joyce. Correa then connected on a single to right field to score Hernandez from second and give the Bandits a four-run lead.
A double to right-center off the bat of Paul Hoenecke brought Tyler Ogle around from first for the Loons' first run in the fourth inning.
Jesse Wierzbicki doubled down the left field line in the fifth, and back-to-back walks for the River Bandits loaded the bases with two outs in the home half of the fifth. Wierzbicki was then able to score on a wild pitch from Loons' right-hander Angel Sanchez, for the Bandits' fifth run of the night. Jobduan Morales lined out to second for the final out.
Quad Cities unloaded for 12 runs in their final three at-bats. Morales blasted a grand slam into the Mississippi River that left Modern Woodmen Park's right field barrier and Wierzbicki notched a 2-run single to highlight the Bandits' seven runs in the sixth. The Bandits added three in the seventh and Pena knocked his second home run of the season with a 2-run shot to the left field berm in the eighth.
Ogle homered in the seventh, driving in Jeremy Rathjen for a pair of runs. The Loons scored three more times in the eighth.
Right-hander Michael Dimock (3-0) came on in relief of left-hander Joe Bircher in the fifth inning, inheriting the bases loaded at a 4-1 score in favor of Quad Cities. The Wake Forest product got Hoenecke to fly out to left to escape the jam, and earned the win in his one-third inning of work. Bircher allowed one run on six hits in four and two-thirds frames as the first starter for the Bandits. Right-hander Vincent Velasquez gave up four runs on five hits, while striking out six in two and two-thirds innings as the second starter. Right-hander Gera Sanchez did not allow a run in the final one and one-third innings.
Sanchez (1-3) allowed the first five Bandits' runs to suffer the loss.
Right-handers Daniel Minor (2-0) and Lance McCullers (0-2) will face left-hander Daniel Watts (3-0) and the South Bend Silver Hawks at Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium tomorrow night for a 6:05 p.m. start time.