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Bandits Big Inning Steals One from Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers took a 3-2 lead on the Quad Cities River Bandits with a run in the top of the sixth inning on Sunday at Modern Woodmen Park in the series finale between the teams.  Then, the River Bandits took advantage of four walks and scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-3 lead.  The Bandits held on for a 7-5 win.

Quad Cities (38-64 overall, 12-24 second half) put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the first inning against Wisconsin starting pitcher Justin Bullock.  The first two batters were retired, and Bullock was up 0-2 on Luca Tresh before Tresh lined a single to left.  Then, Bullock got ahead of Herard Gonzalez 0-2.  Gonzalez fouled off the first 0-2 pitch and hit the second 0-2 pitch over the wall in right for his sixth home run of the season.

Wisconsin (54-47, 18-18) responded in the top of the second inning with a pair of two-out runs of their own.  Joe Gray Jr singled and Darrien Miller walked to start the inning.  A sacrifice bunt by Jose Acosta moved both runners into scoring position.  Quad Cities starter Beck Way got a strikeout for the second out.  Arbert Cipion didn’t let the opportunity go to waste though.  Cipion lined a single to right to knock in both runners to tie the game.

Way hit Jackson Chourio with one out in the top of the sixth.  Zavier Warren followed with a double to right and Wisconsin had runners on second and third.  Gray got Chourio home with a sacrifice fly to left for a 3-2 lead.

The River Bandits came right back in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Wisconsin reliever Christian Tripp, who had pitched a scoreless fourth and a scoreless fifth, walked the first two batters in the sixth inning on eight pitches.  Joey Matulovich took over and gave up an RBI single to Tresh.  Matulovich walked a batter with one out to load the bases.  River Town singled in the go-ahead run.

Matulovich got the second out but walked Garza to force in a run.  Rubendy Jacquez followed with a double to left to score two more runs and the River Bandits were up 7-3.

Cipion started a rally in the top of the seventh inning with a double.  Reidy Mercado punched a single to right to score Cipion.  Mercado also took second on the throw to the plate and that would pay off later in the inning.  Chourio was at the plate with two outs and hit a high popup to first.  Dillan Shrum dropped the ball and Mercado, who was running from second on contact with two outs, scored easily on the play.

Gray doubled and Miller walked to start the top of the eighth inning to start another rally for the Rattlers.  However, this one was stopped in its tracks as Acosta popped up a bunt behind the plate and Garza made a great diving catch for the out.  Antonio Piñero was next, and his liner ticketed for the corner in left was speared by Jacquez on a backhand catch at third and was turned into an inning-ending double play.

Cipion walked to start the top of the ninth inning against Kasey Kalich to bring the tying run to the plate.  However, Kalich struck out the next three batters to close out the inning for his ninth save of the season.

The Timber Rattlers went 4-2 in this six-game series with the River Bandits.  Wisconsin was 19-5 in the season series with Quad Cities.

The Timber Rattlers are off on Monday.  They return to action on Tuesday with the first game of a six-game series against the Western Division-leading South Bend Cubs at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.

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