Thursday night did not prove to be any better. The Bandits gave up five runs before they got on the scoreboard for their second consecutive loss to the Captains. Ryde Rodriguez got another homer for our only run of the night but the team was outhit 13-4 on the evening. Shelby Miller (2-4) went five innings again. He did strike out nine batters but he also gave up 10 hits. I'm still waiting to see what he can really do.
The team looked better on Friday night with a 5-1 win. Deryk Hooker (5-4) was on top of the game from the top of the mound. He struck out nine opponents in 5.1 innings, allowing only four hits. Mike Blazek and Aaron Terry allowed just one hit between them to finish the game. Friday was Ryan Jackson's night to shine—a three run bomb in the fifth inning was the highlight of his three-hit evening. Mateo and Rodriguez each added two hits.
The rest of the weekend, the Bandits faced the Fort Wayne TinCaps. (Padres) Saturday night was a barnburner-- thirteen runs on 16 hits. Alan Ahmady went 4-4, CJ Beatty had a grand slam—his second of the year. Edgar Lara had 2 RBIs on his only hit. Devin Goodwin, Ivan Castro, and Mateo each added two hits. Rodriguez gets my nod for player of the night with his 3-5, three runs scored, and an RBI. Joe Kelly went five big innings, giving up three runs (2 ER) on five hits. Several times he touched 98 mph with his fastball. Dean Kiekhefer didn't look as good Saturday as he has, but he still showed very strong. Chris Notti is one of the most improved on the team so far, too.
Sunday's game was a scorcher. It was about 95 degrees to start the game. Eric Fornataro (7-8) was charged with the loss, giving up nine runs on ten hits. Dan Calhoun, Jesse Simpson, and Jason Novak combined to salvage what they could of that game from the mound. Offensively, the Bandits had sixteen hits but couldn't make them count when they needed it. Matt Adams and Robert Stock added multi-hit games.
In the Monday matinee—the last of the season—the Bandits pulled out the series win, 2-1. Rondon was back on the mound to start but got a no decision. Justin Smith got the win in relief and Aaron Terry picked up his 11th save with a perfect ninth inning. After giving up a one run lead in the first, the position players held the TinCaps and brought out their bats. Matt Adams, Ryan Jackson, Alan Ahmady, and C.J. Beatty were the offensive leaders.
The Bandits have Tuesday off again and then hit the road for their visit to the East.
Only in the Midwest League:
Friday and Sunday evenings, Bandits fans were entertained between innings and after the games by the COWBOY MONKEY RODEO. Yes, you read that right! We had monkeys riding dogs, herding sheep on the field. Granted, the monkeys were just there for the ride. The dogs and the sheep were trained to turn and run in just the right pattern but it was entertaining. I highly doubt that anyone would see anything like this outside of the Midwest.
It's fresh produce season in Iowa. If you're close to the Quad Cities, you should take advantage of the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning and Tuesday afternoon in the Modern Woodmen Park parking lot. This week I'm feasting on fresh sweet corn, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, (red and yellow) and green beans. I'm also enjoying fresh basil, thyme, oregano, lemon balm, and rosemary. The best part of it all is eating all this fresh-picked produce without having to pull a single weed!
Thanks for reading!
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