BANDITS OUTLAST COUGARS IN 13 INNINGS

The Quad Cities River Bandits went 13 innings to sneak out a 6-5 win over the Kane County Cougars on Saturday night at Modern Woodmen Park, taking advantage of center fielder Mitch LeVier's appearance on the mound and scoring the game-winning run on a bases loaded walk.

Quad Cities (19-15) held three different leads over the first six innings, but each time the Cougars battled back to tie the score or take the lead. Kane County (22-13) ran out of luck after getting 6.1 scoreless frames from the relief corps, forced to send center fielder and leadoff hitter Mitch LeVier to the mound in the bottom of the 13th.

With the game tied at 5-5 and LeVier on the hill, Roberto Espinoza started the game-winning rally by blooping a one-out double past a diving Jeremy Barfield in right. After Osvaldo Morales was intentionally walked, Paul Cruz drew an unintentional free pass to load the bases. LeVier then struck out Niko Vasquez for the second out of the inning but could not finish the job. Jarred Bogany watched four straight pitches miss the zone, drawing the game-winning walk to force Espinoza home from third.

Dave Carpenter (2-1) was rewarded with the win after stranding a runner at third base during a scoreless top of the 13th, combing with relievers Ramon Delgado and Miguel Tapia for 6.1 shutout innings. LeVier (0-1) took the loss, yielding one run on one hit and three walks in the bottom half of the frame.

Early on, the two clubs went back and forth with a flurry of action through the first seven frames.

The River Bandits opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, using a Frederick Parejo double and two walks to load the bases with one out. But a run-scoring groundout from Cruz was all Quad Cities would get, giving the home team a 1-0 lead but missing the chance for a big inning.

Over the next two innings, the Cougars battled back. Grant Desme blasted a solo homer the other way to leadoff the second, and later in the frame Petey Paramore's two-out single plated Franklin Hernandez. One inning later, LaVier singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Steve Kleen to give Kane County a 3-1 lead.

In the middle innings it was Quad Cities' turn to answer. Morales led off the fourth with a towering homer to center that cleared the batter's eye and pulled the River Bandits within one run. The fifth started with a bunt single by Travis Mitchell, who scored all the way from first for the game-tying run on a double down the left field line by Alex Castellanos. There were two outs in the inning when Parejo added an RBI single that put the River Bandits ahead, 4-3.

After a leadoff double by Desme led to a game-tying run in the top of the sixth, Quad Cities recaptured the lead in the bottom half of the frame. With two outs and the bases empty, Vasquez clubbed a 3-2 pitch onto the left-center field berm for his first homer of the year, giving the River Bandits a 5-4 advantage.

But a run-scoring, two-out double by Dusty Coleman tied the score at 5-5 in the top of the seventh, eventually sending the game into extra innings. While both teams had a series of opportunities, neither was able to cross the plate until the 13th.

UP NEXT: The River Bandits continue their season-long 10-game homestand on a U.S. Bank Family Sunday, featuring player autographs and kids running the bases post-game as well as Make-A-Wish day at the ballpark. Monday will be a special 11:00 a.m. start for graduates of the River Bandits Book Buddies program. Every Tuesday is an Economic Stimulus Tuesday with 2-for-1 tickets and a free meal for kids 12 and under, but this Tuesday will also have fun with daytime TV on Soap Opera Night. And all of this is just the start of the fun, as the homestand will continue with Autographed Baseball Night on a Wacky WINS-day and run through Monday, May 25!

ABOUT THE BANDITS: Under new ownership and management in 2008, the Quad Cities River Bandits topped 207,000 fans for only the sixth time in team history and the first time in 12 years. Having recently completed one of the most successful seasons in the history of the franchise - and with a renewed dedication to fans, sponsors and the Quad Cities community - the return of the River Bandits has brought a resurgence of support for the team. BanditWear, season tickets and mini-plans, and individual game tickets are on sale for the 2009 season by calling (563) 3-BANDIT or heading to www.RiverBandits.com. But hurry - good seats are going fast!


The Cardinal Nation Top Stories