In the Midwest League in round one the winner of the first half plays the wild card from the second half and the first half wild card plays the second half winner in each division in a three game elimination. Round two is the division final in three games. The finals will be a five game series.
In the Western Division, the first round will be Quad Cities vs. Clinton and Burlington vs. Kane County. Dayton, Fort Wayne, Lansing and Bowling Green are the Eastern qualifiers. I've heard more guys this week talking about their second ring (since many of them were on last year's winning team in Johnson City) so I take that as a good sign that they are ready to fight and win some games.
Here's how the past week played out:
Tuesday, August 30: Rained out against Burlington at home.
This game was not made up since it was the last meeting of these teams.
Wednesday, August 31: Quad Cities 21, Clinton 10 at home.
What a slugfest we had in Davenport! With 34 hits and 31 runs scored between the two teams, it was a wild night. Kolten Wong went 4-for-4, Cody Stanley 3-for-5, and Jonathan Rodriguez 4-for-5. Stanley had a homer, Rodriguez had two and Colin Walsh added a bomb. Seth Blair was shelled, giving up six earned runs in two innings; he walked one and struck one out. Seth Maness had a great Bandits debut, giving up one run on three hits in four innings to get the win.
Thursday, September 1: Quad Cities 8, Clinton 5 at home.
On one of the hottest nights of the summer, the Bandits had cooled off a little since Wednesday night but still looked good in the victory. Boone Whiting took the win even though he gave up all five of Clinton's runs in 5.1 innings. Johnny Rodriguez has said all summer that if the team hits, it can win games in spite of pitching and fielding. This was a night to prove that. Quad Cities had 11 hits to push in eight runs. Joey Bergman headed up the offense with a 3-for-3 effort.
Friday, September 2: Quad Cities 4, Clinton 1 at home.
The season home finale was a good night for Anthony Ferrara. He pitched 6.0 innings and gave up one run. Chris Edmondson, Colin Walsh, and Jonathan Rodriguez each had two hits. The team seemed to be on cruise control, not needing a lot of effort and not exerting a lot. The evening was fun as the team wore tuxedo-themed jerseys that were auctioned off at the end of the game.
Saturday, September 3: Quad Cities at Peoria.
Rained out and not made up as the game wouldn't matter in the overall standings.
Sunday, September 4: Quad Cities 3, Peoria 4 in 12 innings at Peoria.
Kolten Wong was blanked 0-for-6 and Oscar Taveras was 3-for-6 in the marathon game. Zack Russell, Seth Maness, Aiden Lucas, Drew Benes, Dean Kiekhefer, and Justin Edwards made good efforts but the Bandits came up short in the bottom of the twelfth to take the loss.
Monday, September 5: Quad Cities 9, Peoria 3 at Peoria.
I wish I had been able to attend the last game of the season but the listening to the opponent's radio broadcast was as close as I could get. Ryan Copeland had a strong start and newcomer Hector Hernandez secured the win. Iden Nazario and Angel DeJesus finished in good style. Taveras, Stanley, and Geoff Klein each had a double.
As the team rests on Tuesday to prepare for the playoffs, we can all hope that they are mentally and physically ready for eleven more games. It's been too long since Davenport had a championship team. Could 2011 be the year of the Bandit? Time will tell.
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