Quad Cities one win away from MWL championship

The Cooley Law School Stadium scoreboard

Another playoff game, another win for the Quad Cities River Bandits. This time they beat the Lansing Lugnuts 5-3, giving them a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five championship series.

Lugnuts SP Justin Nicolino pitches to River Bandits 1B Jonathan Rodriguez in the 1st inning of Game 2 of the Midwest League Championship Series.

As in Game 1 of the series, the Lugnuts scored first, taking a two-run lead in the 2nd inning. First baseman K.C. Hobson hit a solo homer that bounced on top of the outfield wall and subsequently was disputed by Quad Cities manager Johnny Rodriguez. As Rodriguez walked back to the dugout after arguing with the umpire who made the call, I could read his lips: “No way. No way.”

(Side note: It is strange to see four umpires working a Class A game. Normally there are only two umpires per game, but there is one at each base for the championship series.)

The disputed homer didn’t really matter, as it turned out. The River Bandits tied the score the next inning and later scored three more times. They also left the bases loaded in two innings. (First baseman Jonathan Rodriguez struck out twice with the bases loaded, once to end the inning and once with one out before catcher Cody Stanley struck out to end the inning.)

River Bandits SP Anthony Ferrara (13-7 with a 3.03 ERA during the regular season) looked sharp, retiring 12 Lugnuts in a row at one point. He gave up two runs on four hits while striking out six and walking none in six innings.

River Bandits SP Anthony Ferrara

As they did in Game 1, the Lugnuts threatened to tie the score in the 9th inning but failed to do so.

Lugnuts LF Marcus Knecht went 3-for-4, hitting a single, a double and a triple. He also struck out.

Friday is an off-day as the series moves to the Quad Cities on Saturday.

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This entry was posted in 2011 Playoffs, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Quad Cities one win away from MWL championship

  1. Jim Parcel says:

    It was great to finally see a decent size crowd (2,425) attend a MWL 2011 playoff game tonight at Modern Woodmen Park. The fans seemed to be filled with excitement. Usually, there is a limited and dismal response to the mascot, Rascal’s, “make some noise” signs, the “Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands” song, and the “Day-O” chant. The folks really got into them this evening, however, and cheered on the Bandits to victory.

    My son and I are excited about the River Bandits taking the MWL title. He told me he is sad the 2011 season is over, but reminded me there is next year.

  2. I agree about the crowd, Jim. It was a good size for a playoff game and was much bigger than what the Lugnuts drew for the first two games of the series. (To be fair, it was really chilly those two nights, but still, the River Bandits seemed to have a fan base that was more excited about their team’s postseason run.)

    I, too, was a bit sad as I drove home from the Quad Cities last night. My awesome summer traveling the Midwest League is over. There are no more games to attend. But, as your son said, there’s always next year. Baseball always returns in the spring to capture our hearts again. I hope to see you guys at the ballpark again next season.

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