Matt Shepherd pounded the Swing's first home run of the season as the Swing of the Quad Cities defeated the Beloit Snappers, 5-0, on Saturday afternoon at Beloit's Pohlman Field. Mike Ferris added three RBI and scored three runs, adding his first long ball of the season in the ninth. Eric Haberer was dominant in his first start of the season, allowing only three hits over 5.2 scoreless innings to get the win.
Shepherd, leading off the top of the fourth inning, worked his way to a 3-1 count. He then took a thigh-high pitch and drove it over the wall in center field, the first home run of his career for a 1-0 Quad Cities lead. Shepherd had a perfect day at the plate in his Quad Cities debut, drawing four walks and collecting a home run and a single in his two official at-bats.
The Swing added to the advantage in the sixth inning, and broke it open in the seventh frame. Brady Toops grounded out to score Ferris, who had walked, in the sixth inning. In the seventh, Ferris hit a sinking line drive double into center to score Matt Lemanczyk and Jake Mullinax. Jarrett Hoffpauir singled into right to plate Ferris for a 5-0 Swing advantage.
Quad Cities closed the scoring in the top half of the ninth frame, in a rally that started when Ferris hit a towering home run to center field, his first of the season and fourth of his pro career. Hoffpauir and Toops each walked, and Sam Herbert followed with a run-scoring double. Toops later scored on a Jose Delgado groundout, and Lemanczyk's run-scoring single capped the scoring.
On the mound, the Swing got impressive starting pitching from Eric Haberer. In his Midwest League debut, the lefty went 5.2 scoreless innings, striking out three and walking only one. In three games, Quad Cities pitchers have combined to walk only three batters.
Michael Gross was perfect in his Quad Cities debut, striking out three in 2.1 perfect frames. Sidearming closer Mike Sillman finished it off with a perfect ninth, striking out David Winfree to close it out.
The Swing also sparkled defensively. In the eighth inning, Herbert snared a certain double with a diving backhanded grab, and Swackhamer made a tumbling catch at the warning track in right field to end the inning.
UP NEXT: The Swing and Snappers close out the on Sunday afternoon, as the Swing send Kyle McClellan to the hill against the Snappers' Alexander Smit. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00. Due to broadcasting conflicts, Sunday's game will not be carried on Progressive Talk AM 1270 or at www.swingbaseball.com. NEXT HOME GAME: After a season-opening seven-game road trip, the Swing will open the home portion of their schedule on Friday, April 15, against the Clinton LumberKings. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30. PROMOTION: The first 1,000 fans through the gates on Friday, April 15, will receive a complimentary Swing magnet schedule. In addition, the game will be followed by fireworks, sponsored by WLLR and Mix 96. Tickets are available to all Swing home games by calling (563) 328-2000.