Quad Cities Bandits Notebook: 2012 Week 9

Pitcher Jonathan Cornelius from the St. Louis Cardinals' Midwest League club speaks.

The Quad Cities River Bandits lost ground in the race for qualifying for a playoff spot in the Midwest League first half. After a huge win against the Beloit Snappers, they dropped the next two games to them and are now 6.0 games out of second place in the Western Division. There are only two weeks left in the first half, so they have a long way to go to guarantee a place in the post season playoffs.

All-Star 2B Mateo
The highlight game of the week came on Wednesday night against Beloit. Sam Gaviglio had a good start as he sat the first three batters with strikes and ground outs. Nobody was expecting what happened in the bottom of the first inning. The Bandits had sent ten batters to the plate and all ten had scored before an out was recorded. Beloit's starter left the game after two outs, having given up 12 earned runs. He had pitched a total of 54.0 innings this year so that outing boosted his ERA by three runs. The Bandits weren't done, though. They scored eight more runs in the 20-3 victory. Everyone on the lineup had at least one hit and one run in that game.

Saturday's game was a very uneventful contest until the 10th inning. Tyrell Jenkins and Travis Miller combined for a nine-inning shutout but so did the pitchers from Burlington. It was a pitcher's duel and it was not an engaging game. However, in the top of the tenth, Heath Wyatt allowed three hits and one earned run. In a do or die situation, the Bandits pulled it together for two runs on three hits, a walk, and a throwing error for an exciting finish to a long game.

Congratulations to the River Bandits' Midwest League All-Stars! Colin Walsh is the starting DH, Juan Castillo, Luis Mateo, and Wyatt Heath will also be on the roster. The All-Star game will be hosted by the Kane County Cougars on June 19th.

I was able to secure an interview this week! It was fun to get to talk to Jonathan Cornelius for a few minutes after Saturday's game.

Jon Popham: I'm with Jonathan Cornelius from Land O'Lakes, Florida. Where did you go to school?

Jonathan Cornelius: The Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

JP: What is your favorite meal?

JC: Chicken breast and green bean casserole.

JP: Describe your daily routine—what do you do to keep your days on track?

JC: I get up the same time every day, eat breakfast, and—since our games are at night—I relax a while, watch some TV. Then I get to the ball park kind of early. I hit the training room before we go to the field, then it's the throwing program, conditioning every day. Then I just make sure I get a good stretch at the end of every day.

JP: What's the worst thing about playing professional baseball?

JC: Being away from home.

JP: What's the best thing?

JC: Playing baseball as a job!

JP: What major league player do you emulate?

JC: Right now I think I take the most from Cliff Lee, and I was a Tom Glavine guy growing up.

JP: How did you get your start in baseball?

JC: It was my dad's favorite sport. It took me a little bit to really get into it, I think I was about seven. But since I'm left handed and I had some success, I decided that was going to be my sport.

JP: What do you like to do in your down time?

JC: I like to read and watch TV and DVDs and Netflix.

JP: Who on the team has a hidden talent?

JC: Sam Gaviglio - he works as a logger in the off season in Oregon!

JP: What's the most important thing you've learned so far this summer?

JC: I've learned that the game doesn't change. The players get a little better at each level, but if you're here, you belong here.

JP: Who in your life inspires you to be great?

JC: My Grandmother.

JP: What part of your game has improved the most this summer?

JC: I'd say that it's a specific pitch. My sinker has come along real well this year.

JP: What part of your game are you working to improve?

JC: My change-up.

JP: Who's the nicest guy on the team?

JC: Sam Gaviglio

JP: What's the best thing about living in Davenport?

JC: I like the trains that go by the stadium.

JP: If you could go anywhere on vacation at the end of the season, where would you want to go?

JC: I like going to Wisconsin in the winter.

JP: What advice would you give to a ten year old who wants to get into professional baseball?

JC: Remember that it all starts with the mental game. Keep your head in the game.

JP: What do you want fans to know about you that they can't learn from reading your stats?

JC: I'd want them to know that while I was playing baseball in college, I got my degree. I'm proud of that.

JP: Thanks, Jon! Keep up the good work.

If you have questions or comments, please send them to me on the forum - I have a thread on the insider's board just for you! I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for reading!

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