For the second night in a row the River Bandits (47-34) rallied from a five-run deficit capped off by a walk-off fly ball fielder's choice from Jordan Scott to defeat the LumberKings (39-42) 7-6 to a crowd of 3,563 fans at Modern Woodmen Park on Tuesday night.
With the game tied at six entering the ninth, Austin 'Catfish' Elkins reached on a walk and moved to third on a single from Brett Phillips. Clinton manager Eddie Menchaca went to his bullpen for the second time in the game to bring in right-hander Jochi Ogando in relief of Oliver Garcia. Ogando walked Hernandez as the first batter he faced to load the bases with one out. Scott followed with a fly ball to center field that brought in Elkins for the game-winning run. However, LumberKings center fielder Jabari Henry dropped the ball in center, allowing his team to attempt force plays after the River Bandits' celebration began. On appeal throws to third and then second bases, Clinton recorded a forceout of Phillips at third base for the second out, but the run remained for a Quad Cities win.
Little time was wasted as both teams tallied a run in the first. Jabari Henry led off the contest with a triple down the right field line and scored on a groundout from Ketel Marte to put Clinton on the board. Hernandez singled to leadoff the home half, advanced to second and third on a wild pitch and Scott's bunt single respectively, then was able to score on a groundout double-play off the bat of Jesse Wierzbicki for the Bandits.
Tyler Marlette gave the LumberKings the lead once again on a RBI-single to right field to score Dario Pizzano in the third. Marlette was then gunned down by right fielder Hernandez, who bobbled the ball in the outfield, trying to go for extra bases to end the inning.
After allowing two runs in the fourth, Bandits' starter Lance McCullers was taken out of the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the frame. Right-hander Juri Perez came on in relief and allowed a 2-run single to the first batter he faced in Taylor Ard, but got Marlette to groundout to second to end the inning.
The River Bandits for the second straight night rallied from a five-run deficit with a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth, and then a run in the sixth.
Roberto Pena laced a 2-run double down the left field line to score Wierzbicki and Rio Ruiz in the fourth to narrow the score to 6-3 in the fourth. Wierzbicki slugged the Bandits to within one run on a 2-run homer to left field berm, scoring Scott in the fifth. A sacrifice fly to deep right field from Elkins brought home Ruiz for the game-tying run in the sixth.
From the defensive side, Pena gunned down three would-be LumberKing base stealers to set a team-high on the season. Pena leads all Midwest League catchers by catching 30 base runners attempting to steal out of 53 total (.566).
McCullers allowed career-highs of six earned runs and nine hits in three and two-thirds innings and did not have a decision. Perez tossed three and one-third scoreless frames, only allowing two hits and striking out a pair. Right-hander John Neely (2-4) tossed the final two scoreless frames to earn the win.
Clinton starter Scott DeCecco gave up six runs on eight hits in five innings and did not receive a decision. Garcia (4-3), having walked Elkins, was charged with the loss.
Quad Cities and Clinton will wrap up the five-game set at Modern Woodmen Park on Wednesday. Right-hander Vincent Velasquez (6-3) will toe the rubber for the Bandits and is scheduled to deliver the game's first pitch at 6:00 p.m., while left-hander Tyler Pike (5-3) will start for the LumberKings.