Quad Cities Bandits Notebook: 2011 Week 3

The River Bandits persevered through more cold, rain and flood waters. Zack Russell is interviewed.

It was yet another cold, wet week in Davenport as the Mississippi flood came higher and the temperature refused to climb! Every game in the Midwest League was rained out on Tuesday, April 19. The river crested on Easter Sunday at 20.6 feet - the sixth highest flood in Davenport history. Soon we'll be back to walking across the parking lot instead of taking a foot bridge to the games at Modern Woodmen Park.

April 20 (Game 1): River Bandits 0, Peoria Chiefs 4

On Wednesday, the River Bandits played an afternoon twin bill and their hitting woes resurfaced. In 14 innings of play on Wednesday, they again failed to score a run. The temperature at game time was only 39 degrees; maybe this is just not a cold weather team. Zack Russell took the loss in game one as the hitters only mustered three hits and two walks.

April 20 (Game 2): River Bandits 0, Peoria 1

Trevor Rosenthal took the loss in the second game. He gave up only one earned run but that's all Peoria needed. He also gave up eight hits in his 5.2 innings. Boone Whiting continued his 0.00 ERA, closing the last 1.1 innings. The hitters' highlight came from Juan Castillo who had a pair of hits.

April 21: River Bandits 3, Kernels (Angels) 4 in Cedar Rapids.

In their first commuter game of the season, the Bandits continued their slide. Although they collected seven hits, they could only plate three runs while the Kernels had four runs on six hits. Jordan Swagerty took his first loss of the season giving up all four of the Kernels runs (all earned) in six complete innings of work. Chris Corrigan pitched two perfect innings to close the game. Greg Garcia gets my nod for start of this game with his two-RBI double.

April 22: I know, it's hard to believe - this game was rained out!

April 23 (Game 1): River Bandits 3, Kernels 5 in Cedar Rapids

Seth Blair took the mound for the early game on Saturday. Once again, after a day off, the Bandits weren't able to get it together for the opener. Blair melted down again, lasting only 1.2 innings before the Kernels chased him from the game. Andrew Moss contributed to the loss but Keith Butler recorded 4 Ks in two innings. Jonathan Rodriguez had a two-run homer as the only highlight at the plate.

April 23 (Game 2): River Bandits 8 at Kernels 0

Anthony Ferrara led the way (finally!) in the late game victory. He pitched 5.2 innings and only allowed two hits. Justin Wright threw 1.1 innings to complete the shutout without giving up a hit. Juan Castillo continued his exceptional performance at the plate. He's currently hitting over 500 as he went 3-for-4 on the day.

April 24: Midwest League observes Easter; no games scheduled.

April 25: River Bandits 5, Timber Rattlers (Brewers) 0 in Wisconsin

Kevin Siegrist continues to be a bright spot in the starting roster. He went seven full innings and had eight K's and two walks in the game. His groundout-flyout ratio was 6-to-2. Angel DeJesus recorded a 97 mph fastball according to the Wisconsin radio announcer. Boone Whiting closed the ninth with another scoreless inning - his ERA is still 0.0 after eight innings. The Bandits continue to lack in offense, especially after a day off. They managed five runs but did that on only six hits. Nick Longmire had a good night with two RBI on a pair of hits.

Summary

The Bandits are missing something so far this year. Almost a month into the season the batting is lacking. Maybe it will improve when Oscar Taveras returns but it's still unknown when that will be. Cody Stanley is doing a good job behind the plate but Juan Castillo is making a big argument for more playing time with his bat. Besides Juan and Oscar, nobody is batting over .270. Boone Whiting and Kevin Siegrist have the lowest ERAs among the pitchers but Hector Corpas is sporting a 12.27. I'm anxious to see what this team can do when it gets warmer and there are fewer rainouts.



This week we start the player interview series with a chat with Zack Russell. If you have any suggestions for questions that you would like to have answered, please let me know!

I'm here with Zack Russell today - starting pitcher with the Quad Cities River Bandits. Zack, where are you from?

I'm from Camden, Arkansas, about an hour south of Little Rock.

Where did you go to school?

I went to Harmony Grove High School.

Tell me about draft day...

It was pretty fun. I got a lot of friends together; we had a family cookout and watched the draft.

How did you get into baseball?

My step-dad ran our Boys and Girls Club so I was always around it.

Growing up who was your hero?

I'd say it was Nolan Ryan.

Who was your favorite team as a kid?

The Red Sox.

You couldn't play baseball, what would you do instead?

Um, I've never really thought of that!

Good answer! You guys will be playing at Busch in May - how exciting is that?

It's going to be real cool. It's always been a dream to be playing there!

What's your favorite movie?

I'd say it's probably Jackass for sure.

What is the best thing about playing in Davenport?

The fans are really good and there a lot more of them than we had last year.

You were drafted a few years ago and you've had some interaction with fans. What's the wildest fan story you have?

Last year there was a fan who was at every game. He was always trying to catch a foul ball. One night he flipped over the fence and fell right on his face!

If you were a car, what kind would you be?

I'd probably have to be a Lamborghini.

What advice would you give a 12 year old who wants to get into baseball?

Work hard and play everyday!

What is someplace you've never been but want to visit?

I'd have to say Hawaii.

What do you want fans to know about you as a person?

I like to hang out with friends and I try to talk to everybody - I want to be a nice guy.

Thanks, Zack!

The river is supposed to be back in its banks by this time next week as long as there's no more major rainfall here or anywhere upstream. Watch for an interview with Jordan Swagerty.

SYSG.



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