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Bandits Rally From Five Down For Walk-Off Win

Quad Cities rallies for three runs on three hits to deliver a walk-off performance by defeating Clinton 9-8 to a crowd of 1,733 fans at Modern Woodmen Park on Monday night. The River Bandits have now won three straight games and their last eight home games.

With the Bandits trailing 8-6 in the ninth, Rio Ruiz walked to leadoff the frame. Ruiz moved up 90 feet on a single up the middle off the bat of Roberto Pena, and came around to score on a line drive single to left-center by Austin 'Catfish' Elkins. With Pena at second and Elkins at first, Brian Blasik laid down a sac-bunt on the third base side of the mound to the pitcher Mark Bordonaro, who bobbled the ball trying to force out Pena at third allowing all runners to reach safely. Brett Phillips followed by slapping a base hit through the hole at second to bring in Pena for the tying run and keep the bases loaded with no outs for Teoscar Hernandez. The 20-year-old right fielder followed by skying a fly ball to left field, which was deep enough for Blasik to tag up and score from third without a play for a Bandits' victory.

Phillips led the River Bandits offense by going 3-for-5 with two RBI. Elkins, Pena and Jordan Scott all finished with multi-hit games for Quad Cities.

For the first time in the series the LumberKings beat the River Bandits to the scoreboard with a run in the first inning. Jabari Henry reached second base on an infield single due to a throwing error by second baseman Elkins on the play, as the first batter of the game. Henry then advanced to third on a groundout from Dario Pizzano to the shortstop Carlos Correa, and scored on an infield single from Taylor Ard.

Clinton stacked on two more on back-to-back RBI-doubles from Gaby Guerrero and Tim Lopes elevated Clinton to a 3-0 lead in the second. Jordy Lara then drove in the LumberKings' run on an infield single with the bases loaded to score Ard.

Jesse Wierzbicki brought in the Bandits' first run on double off the wall in left field to score Scott in the third, who singled earlier in the frame. The River Bandits then narrowed the deficit to two runs in the fourth on a single laced up the middle by Hernandez to score Elkins. 

Clinton returned fire with a pair of runs in the fifth against Bandits' right-hander Jamaine Cotton, on a groundout double play from Lara that scored Ard and a single from Guerrero bringing in Zorrilla. 

With runners on second and third with no outs, Ard flied out to Phillips in left, who fired to third in time to catch Pizzano tagging up from second base. Ketel Marte, who singled to leadoff the frame, was able to score on the sacrifice fly.

Phillips brought in the first of two Bandit runs in the sixth on a double down the right field line to bring in Elkins, who doubled to left-center earlier in the inning. Two batters later, Scott drove in Brian Blasik on a groundout to the shortstop and bring the score to 7-2.

A solo home run to the Built Ford Tough Deck in right field off the bat of Lara extended Clinton's lead to four runs in the seventh.

The Bandits retaliated with a pair in the home half and bring the score to within two. With the bases loaded, Blasik skied a sacrifice fly to center to score Ruiz. Phillips then followed with a tapper back towards the mound, and the throw from the pitcher David Holman went past the first baseman Ard to allow Roberto Pena to come in to score on the infield hit and error.

Left-hander Mitchell Lambson (5-3) allowed a lone LumberKing hit, tossing the final two and two-thirds frames to earn the win. Cain allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits in three innings. Cotton gave up four runs on seven hits in three and one-third innings as the scheduled second pitcher. 

Bordonaro (1-2) entered the game the game in the ninth and allowed all three runs in the frame to suffer the loss.

Right-hander Lance McCullers (4-4) of Quad Cities and Scott DeCecco (5-6) of Clinton will square off in game four at Modern Woodmen Park on Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

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