Davenport, IA– The Chiefs connected on three home runs Friday and held off a late Quad Cities rally to win a one-run decision, 7-6. The River Bandits outhit Peoria 14-10 but were stymied by Jack Ralston, who recorded the final seven outs en route to his second win of the season.
Jordan Walker, the Cardinals number-three prospect per MLB Pipeline, started the game off in style. The third baseman connected on an opposite field homer to make it 1-0. Four of Walker’s five homers this season have come at Modern Woodmen Park.
After Quad Cities tied it in the bottom of the first, Tyler Reichenborn created separation in a big way. On a 2-2 pitch, Reichenborn hit a towering home run, a three-run shot, that landed on the left field berm. His sixth homer of the year gave the Chiefs the lead back, 4-1. Two innings later, it was more of the same, as Zade Richardson launched his 11th homer of the season. His solo shot extended the lead to 5-1.
Quad Cities, who had already clinched a playoff spot, continued to hang around in the middle innings. After starter Colin Schmid was lifted in the third, the River Bandits scratched a run in the fourth and the fifth inning to make it a 5-3 score.
In the sixth, it was Richardson again. The catcher delivered a clutch two-out double and pushed the Peoria lead to 6-3. Richardson has driven in a pair of runs in each of his two starts this series.
Yet. the River Bandits were not done. They plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh off of Jacob Schlesener to tie the contest, 6-6. Quad Cities racked up 14 hits through seven innings of play, but they did not collect another.
In a game where the home run ball was so prevalent for the Chiefs, it was a bit of small ball that won the game. After Todd Lott tripled to lead off the eighth, Quad Cities was forced to bring their infield in. With one out in the inning, Thomas Francisco grounded a ball towards the middle of the diamond. River Bandits’ second baseman Michael Massey gloved the roller, and threw to the plate. As catcher William Hancock went to apply the tag on Lott, the ball squeaked out of his mitt, allowing Lott to score what turned out to be the winning run.
Ralston, who collected the save on Tuesday, did the trick yet again. He did not allow a baserunner over 2.1 innings and whiffed four. For Ralston, it was his first win since May 29.
The series continues tonight. The Chiefs will go for a series win behind right-hander Logan Gragg. First pitch is slated for 6:30.