Quad Cities River Bandits right-hander Daniel Minor pitched a season-high six strong innings, center fielder Teoscar Hernandez hit his team-high 13th home run, and right fielder Jordan Scott had the go-ahead RBI as part of his two-triple game to lead a 3-2 win over the Beloit Snappers in Monday's regular season finale in front of 3,911 at Modern Woodmen Park.
Playoff-bound Quad Cities (43-26 second half, 81-57 overall) won 13 of its final 16 games and took the final five series in order to tie for the third-most single-season victories in the 54-season franchise history. Monday's win earned a season-series split with Beloit (34-35, 77-62), assuring the River Bandits a .500 or better regular-season record against every Midwest League Western Division opponent. Quad Cities will host Cedar Rapids for Game 1 of the Western Division semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Modern Woodmen Park. River Bandits right-hander Chris Devenski (4-3) is scheduled to face Kernels left-hander Brett Lee (8-4) in Game 1.
Minor (8-3) allowed Beloit to take a lead in the top of the second inning, as designated hitter John Wooten hit a one-out double down the left-field line and scored when second baseman Roberto Pena dropped a two-out popup in shallow center field. After a third-inning single by right fielder Aaron Shipman, Minor retired eight straight hitters, including striking out the side in the fifth.
Hernandez led off the third inning by hitting the first pitch from right-hander Deyvi Jimenez (2-6) over the left-center-field fence to tie the game. Hernandez scored his league-leading 97th run, which ties him for fourth-most in a single season by a Quad Cities player since the Midwest League franchise began in 1960. Hernandez's total is the most since Jon Schaeffer scored as many in 1999.
In the fourth inning, Pena drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and reached third base on a flyout. Scott then drove a fly ball over center fielder Brett Vertigan and reached third base, while Pena scored the go-ahead run. Hernandez later drew a two-out walk, and shortstop Carlos Correa grounded a single into center field for his team-high 144th hit and 86th RBI. Those single-season totals place Correa in ties for ninth and eighth, respectively, in franchise history. Correa's .320 batting average finished third in the Midwest League and is tied for sixth-best in franchise history. His .407 on-base percentage was also second-highest in the league, and he led the circuit with an .875 on-base-plus-slugging (OPS) percentage.
With a 3-1 lead, Minor allowed three sixth-inning hits, including an RBI single by Snappers first baseman Matt Olson. On the same play, Scott and Correa relayed to third baseman Rio Ruiz to retire a runner at third. Minor got a popout to keep the 3-2 lead. He allowed six hits and two runs - one earned - while striking out five batters. Right-hander Jamaine Cotton started the seventh and worked around a leadoff single in the eighth for two scoreless innings. Right-hander Zach Morton pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first career save.