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Ninth-Inning Implosion Sinks Bandits in First Half Finale

June 22, 2023

Davenport, Iowa – The Quad Cities River Bandits trailed by just two runs entering the final frame on Thursday night at Modern Woodmen Park, but were undone by the Peoria Chiefs’ seven-run ninth, which sunk the Bandits 10-1 in the final game of the 2023 Midwest League first half. Although

Davenport, Iowa – The Quad Cities River Bandits trailed by just two runs entering the final frame on Thursday night at Modern Woodmen Park, but were undone by the Peoria Chiefs’ seven-run ninth, which sunk the Bandits 10-1 in the final game of the 2023 Midwest League first half.

Although the Chiefs used an error and an Aaron McKeithan RBI single to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the first, it would be the only blemish on the night for Quad Cities’ starter Cruz Noriega, who completed his portion of the pitchers’ duel with a season-high matching 4.2 innings and three strikeouts.

However, Peoria right-hander Tink Hence matched him inning for inning, and despite allowing a pair of hits, faced the minimum in 5.0-shutout innings with a season-high of his own in seven strikeouts.

After Osvaldo Tovalin made it a 2-0 Chiefs lead with an RBI single off Luis Barroso in the top of the sixth, the Bandits quickly cut the deficit back to one in the bottom half against Andrew Marrero on a Shervyen Newton solo blast, his second home run of the series.

One frame later, Darlin Moquete responded with a dinger of his own, launching a full-count pitch from Barroso over the right-field wall to extend his team’s lead back to two, 3-1.

Barroso would settle down and return in the eighth with a clean frame, including his game’s only strikeout, but so would the Chiefs’ bullpen, who sent Roy Garcia to dispatch Quad Cities in order in the bottom half, before his offense blew the doors off the game in the ninth.

Bringing 11 batters to the plate, Peoria would strike for seven runs in their half of the ninth, tagging Anderson Paulino for five in just 0.2 innings and then Parker Harm for a pair in 0.1. Jimmy Crooks struck for the big blow, clearing loaded bases with a three-run double.

Hence (2-1) earned the win for the Chiefs, needing just 59 pitches to complete 5.0 scoreless innings, while Noriega (1-2) wound up with the loss despite allowing just one unearned run in his longest start of the season. Roy Garcia (3) earned a six-out save with 2.0 perfect innings to close out the game for Peoria.

The River Bandits finish the first-half 32-34, just their fourth sub .500 first-half record since 2005, while the Chiefs claim second place in the Midwest League Western Division’s first half at 33-33.

Quad Cities begins its next 66-game slate tomorrow night at Modern Woodmen Park behind David Sandlin (0-0, 0.00) who makes his High-A and River Bandits debut against Peoria’s Dionys Rodriguez (1-4, 4.69). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.