Hammond's bases-loaded double in seventh keys rally; Quad Cities has won four in a row The Swing of the Quad Cities scored five times in the bottom of the seventh inning as they defeated the Dayton Dragons, 8-5, to begin a nine-game homestand on Saturday afternoon at John O'Donnell Stadium. The Swing have won their last four games and five of their last six, and have moved into fourth place in the Midwest League's Western Division.
Down 4-2 at the seventh inning stretch, the Swing pounded reliever Philippe Valiquette for five runs to take a commanding lead. Matt Lemanczyk doubled down the right field line to begin the rally, and then Matt Shepherd drew a walk. Joe Mather then hit a single that dropped between three Dragons fielders to load the bases. Mike Ferris then drew a walk to make it a one-run game, and Derry Hammond drilled a double into the right center gap, clearing the bases for a 6-4 Swing lead. Two batters later, Jarrett Hoffpauir ripped a two-bagger to score Hammond for a 7-4 Swing lead.
The Swing added another run in the eighth, when Hammond's double brought home Joe Mather. Hammond and Mather, who both joined the Swing last Saturday, have combined for four home runs and 15 RBI in the six games since they joined the Swing. Mather was 4-for-5 against Dayton, while Hammond went 3-for-5 with four RBI.
Mike Sillman closed it down in the ninth inning, retiring two straight men with two runners on for his second save of the season.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the fouth inning, the Dragons scored three more times in the fifth. Craig Tatum ripped a two-run double to right field with two outs, and Habelito Hernandez' single to left plated Tatum for a 4-0 Dragons advantage.
But the Swing came back to score two runs – all after two outs – in the bottom half of the inning. Lemanczyk drew a walk, then stole second base. Matt Shepherd then dropped a double down the left field line to score Lemanczyk, and Mather's double to the left field corner set the stage for the Swing comeback.
UP NEXT: The Swing and Dragons continue the series on Sunday, when Matt Scherer makes his Swing debut against Homer Bailey (0-0, 6.75), who was the seventh-overall pick in the 2004 draft. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., and coverage on Progressive Talk AM 1270 will begin at 1:45
PROMOTION: Sunday will be the fourth Swing into Reading Day of the season, with several hundred area children on hand to celebrate their successful completion of the program. In addition, it will be a Mix 96 Family Fun Day, featuring clowns, face painters, and the chance for kids to run the bases after the game. Tickets are available to all Swing home games by calling (563) 328-2000.