Quad Cities (1-1) extended their season with a sorely needed offensive outburst as every member of the batting lineup recorded a hit and seven different players drove in runs. Kane County (1-1) will send another lefty to the mound on Friday night, as Joe Piekarz is all that stands between the Swing and the semifinals round.
For the second straight night the visiting team struck first in the top of the third inning, but this time it was the Swing sending 10 men to the plate and chasing Cougars' starter Kenny Durost from the ballgame.
After a single and two walks loaded the bases with one away, Tyler Greene put Quad Cities on the board with a liner through the left side. The Swing continued to play station-to-station baseball with the bases loaded on Bryan Anderson's infield single and a Jose Martinez base knock to left. When Kane County went to the bullpen, Mark Hamilton added a sacrifice fly to right and Daniel Nelson fought of a full-count, two-out pitch for a groundball single to left that gave the Swing a 5-0 lead.
Quad Cities added single runs in the fifth and the sixth to take a 7-0 lead as Chad Gabriel and Greene each chipped in with run-scoring singles.
The score was 7-2 when the Swing added four more runs over the final two innings. After loading the bases with nobody out in the eighth, Greene drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to right and Anderson made it 9-2 with an infield groundout. The bases were loaded again with one away in the top of the ninth when Jon Jay's sacrifice fly brought a run home and Greene knocked in his fourth run of the game with a single to center.
That 11-2 lead came in handy as the Cougars came alive in the bottom of the ninth. With nobody out Anthony Recker crushed a three-run blast to the batter's eye in dead-center field as Kane County eventually scored four times, but the Swing held on for the 11-6 win.
Daniels (1-0) was in complete control during his seven innings of work, notching 10 punchouts while allowing two runs – one earned. He scattered eight hits and issued five walks, four of which were drawn be leadoff hitter Chad Boyd, but used two double plays and a series of clutch strikeouts as Kane County stranded 12 men on the bases.
The loss went to Kenny Durost (0-1), who lasted just 2.1 innings but was tagged for five run on seven hits. He struck out two and walked two but was chased during the five-run third inning after allowing five singles and two walks during the frame.
UP NEXT: The best-of-three quarterfinals series will culminate in the decisive game on Friday night at Elfstrom Stadium, as RHP Adam Ottavino (2-3, 3.44) will pitch for the Swing against LHP Joe Piekarz (8-7, 3.26) of the Cougars. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the pre-game show will begin at 6:45 p.m., as the action will be carried via an internet-only broadcast thanks to Teamline at www.swingbaseball.com.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Should the Swing advance to the Semifinal round of the Midwest League playoffs, game one against the winner of the Beloit/Peoria series would be at John O'Donnell Stadium at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night. A special package is being offered in which fans can purchase a Box Seat as well as any Klement's Sausage item for just $10!