April 27: (Game 1) River Bandits 7, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers) 5
In a rare come-from-behind win, Jonathan Rodriguez and Nick Longmire each hit home runs in this afternoon game. Kyle Conley and Greg Garcia both doubled. Andrew Moss struck out four in his three perfect innings to earn his second win of the year.
April 27: (Game 2) Bandits 1, Rattlers 3
In spite of the fact that the Bandits only allowed five hits and forced the Rattlers to commit three errors, they fell short in the late afternoon game. Trevor Rosenthal pitched all six innings. Jonathan Rodriguez, Juan Castillo, and Greg Garcia each had extra-base hits but the team failed to make them count for runs.
April 28: River Bandits 6, Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels) 0
Jordan Swagerty recorded eight K's in his six innings, allowing only two hits. Justin Wright and Keith Butler completed the shutout. Frederick Parejo recorded his second homer for three runs and Kyle Conley kept pace an inning later with his second round tripper of the year to dead-center field for two more runs.
April 29: Bandits 4, Kernels 6
Although they recorded 11 hits, the Bandits only coaxed four across the plate in the Friday evening game. A late rally made it exciting but they fell short in the bottom of the ninth after giving up a five-run lead. Packy Elkins headed the offensive effort with three hits and two RBIs. Seth Blair suffered his third loss and the team collapsed with fielding errors to allow three runs in the top of the ninth.
April 30: Bandits 2, Kernels 0
This was Anthony Ferrara's night to shine as he threw seven perfect innings. He struck out eight and only walked one. Boone Whiting closed the game with two solid scoreless innings. Oscar Taveras made his long-anticipated return from the disabled list and went one for three with a walk. Conley collected his third bomb, a solo shot.
May 1: Bandits 7, Rattlers 12
Kevin Siegrist made his first shaky start of the year but seemed to pull it together to go 5.2 innings. He gave up six runs, five earned, but only struck out three. Andrew Moss and Hector Corpas added to this disastrous evening game, each giving up three more runs, all earned. Cody Stanley finally showed what he is able to do with the bat, going three for four. Oscar Taveras was 3-for-3, which returned his BA to .667 and Freddie Parejo shined with two home runs, but that was not enough to pull out the win.
May 2: Bandits 3, Rattlers 4
In front of a season record crowd of over 5,000 school kids, the Bandits left 12 runners on base to drop their second game to Wisconsin. Zack Russell took the loss as he gave up six hits. Angel DeJesus looked good with only two hits, no runs, in his two innings and Keith Butler finished with two perfect innings but they couldn't overcome the fact that the hitters suffered through 18 K's. Nick Longmire went 2-for-5 to raise his average to .193.
If the Bandits are going to be competitive this season, they need to string together some wins. They need strong pitching along with good hits. It looks like the pitchers are becoming more confident of the team behind them and this will continue to improve as the season progresses.
Here's a quick recap of the month of April:
Best starter ERA: Jordan Swagerty at 1.44
Best reliever ERA: Boone Whiting at 0.00
Collective ERA for the team: 3.25
Best bat: Oscar Taveras with a BA of .667 and an on-base percentage of .714, slugging 1.000 and OPS at a whopping 1.714.
Team BA: .234
Record is 11-12
One of my highlights during an otherwise mediocre week was the opportunity to talk with Jordan Swagerty. I say it over and over, but good guys are the ones who stick in this game. Even aside from his pitching talent, Jordan is one of the GOOD guys. Here's what I learned from him:
Jordan, thanks for talking with me! What is your hometown?
Where did you go to school?
I went to Arizona State University.
What position were you drafted?
I was drafted in the second round.
Tell me about draft day...
It was pretty exciting. Finding out that I was going to be playing with Seth (Blair) for a while longer was great.
How did you get into baseball?
I got into baseball when I was three years old. I don't know why, I just liked it. I started playing T-ball and went from there.
What pitch are you working to improve this year?
All of them! As I moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation, I knew that I had to bring my best with every pitch so I'm concentrating on being the best every time I throw a pitch.
What do you think is your best pitch?
I used to say it was my slider but now I have a pretty good change up, but I'm still working on all of them!
Growing up, who inspired you outside of baseball?
Who was your favorite team as a kid?
Growing up, the Texas Rangers.
If you couldn't earn your living in baseball, what would you do?
I'd own my own business.
You guys will be playing at Busch in May - how exciting is that?
It's pretty exciting. I mean, it's where we want to play every day so it's a good step along the way.
What's your favorite movie?
I watched Avatar the other day. That was pretty good.
What's your favorite baseball movie?
Do you have any hidden talents outside of baseball?
I'm a scratch golfer... just kidding, but I do like to play golf a lot.
What is the best thing about playing in Davenport?
Uh, you can take your jet ski to the field!
If you were a car, what kind would you be?
Definitely, I'd have to be a Lamborghini.
What advice would you give a 12-year-old who wants to get into baseball?
If it's what you love to do, then stick with it and work hard every day.
Is there some place you would like to visit that you've never been?
Maybe Australia. I've never been there.
What do you want fans to know about you as a person?
I'm a competitor. I'll go out there every day and fight to help the team win.
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