Midwest League Champions

Bandits capture Midwest League crown with sweep of South Bend

2013-09-14T21:49:00Z 2013-09-16T16:27:11Z Bandits capture Midwest League crown with sweep of South BendDon Doxsie ddoxsie@qctimes.com The Quad-City Times

Josh Hader isn’t even old enough to legally drink the champagne that was being splashed around the Quad-Cities River Bandits dressing room Saturday night.

He was more than happy just to wear some of it.

A little more than six weeks after being traded from his hometown Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros organization, Hader helped put the finishing touches on the River Bandits’ second championship season in three years.

The slender 19-year-old left-hander shut out the South Bend Silver Hawks on three little singles through seven innings as the Bandits completed a sweep of the Midwest League championship series with a 4-2 victory in front of a lively crowd of 3,607 at Modern Woodmen Park.

Hader, who went 2-0 in just five appearances with the Bandits in the regular season, also went 2-0 in the postseason and he was never in any sort of serious trouble Saturday. He allowed only four baserunners, only one of whom got as far as second base. He also struck out eight Silver Hawks.

Mitchell Lambson fanned two more hitters in retiring South Bend in the eighth inning. Closer Andrew Walter, who had been virtually untouchable in the playoffs, served up a two-run home run to Rudy Flores on an 0-2 pitch in the ninth, but then got the last two outs to preserve the win.

Hader said he was not nervous at all in the biggest starting assignment of his young life.

“Not in the beginning,’’ he told reporters amid the on-field celebration following the game. “Now I’m starting to feel a little bit of the excitement.

“I knew we had a great team,’’ he added. “The chemistry on this team was great. I had a feeling that we were going to take it.’’

Two years ago, the Bandits rolled through the playoffs without losing a game. This time they suffered just one setback, in Game 2 of the Western Division finals with Beloit.

“No doubt about it, we were playing our best baseball right now,’’ said shortstop Carlos Correa, who struck out three times Saturday but still batted .333 in the playoffs. “We were doing everything right. It paid off and we’re champions.’’

A big part of the title drive was the work of the pitching staff, which went above and beyond most people’s expectations. In eight playoff games, the Q-C staff had an earned-run average of 2.15 with just 50 hits allowed in 71 innings.

“I was expecting great pitching but I wasn’t expecting consistency,’’ manager Omar Lopez admitted. “That’s what we got was consistently great pitching every night.’’

The strong mound work was crucial in Saturday’s Game 3 of the best-of-five finals as the Quad-Cities offense didn’t do much after the first two innings.

The Bandits jumped in front by scoring two runs in the first inning with the help of an error. Tony Kemp dropped a bloop single down the left-field line to start the inning and when Teoscar Hernandez tried to bunt him over, South Bend pitcher Aaron Blair threw the ball into right field. Kemp scored from first and Hernandez raced to third. He scored one hitter later when Danry Vasquez rifled a ground ball into right field.

Rio Ruiz added to the lead by driving the first pitch of the second inning over the left-field fence for his third post-season home run. The lead reached 4-0 later in the inning when Jordan Scott, who had singled, scored from first on a double by Kemp.

The offense took most of the rest of the night off. In fact, the Bandits struck out two or more times in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

But with the way Hader was slinging the ball, it didn’t matter.

“The pitching staff did a great job,’’ Correa said. “The defense was there, too. It was a team effort. We put it all together and now we’re the champions of the Midwest League.’’

Lopez had a simple explanation for the late-season surge of his team, which included 20 victories in the last 24 games.

“I think these guys just enjoyed winning and that’s why they won,’’ he said.

The manager was as euphoric as anyone as everyone jumped around in jubilation after it was over.

“Those guys behind me did it all year,’’ he said, pointing to his players. “It’s just an amazing, unforgettable moment. They deserve it.''

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. protikkhan7
    Report Abuse
    protikkhan7 - March 26, 2015 10:21 am
    This really is remarkable . your post will be very informative AND ALSO effective . Thank you very much about this versions associated with information. accounts because of its Easiest Essay Services. whether or not you find some essay writing services, It'll do your current essay with the Select here can someone do my essay example outline
  2. hitler01molliko1
    Report Abuse
    hitler01molliko1 - March 08, 2015 4:33 am
    I fundamentally shocked in the wake of passing by this site. It is general encircled site. All the substance of this site is to a remarkable degree informative.thank you a ton for giving this current kind's of information. On the off chance that you are Looking for the trustful article making affiliation and don't know where is the best place to pay for articles web nothing to reach out over We can help by our master reviews. For more information in a general sense clickhere
  3. Methila-farzana
    Report Abuse
    Methila-farzana - November 13, 2014 1:30 am
    Such an incredible and honest opinion you have about the different economic factors. There are a lot of investors that are searching the ways to get the right choice for their business and approaching the paper editing online for their website content. There are many people that shift to buy the gold rather than investing in the other areas. Thanks for such important insight.
  4. hitler01molliko1
    Report Abuse
    hitler01molliko1 - October 28, 2014 12:16 am
    I read its all comment Mr. Lauren J Mejia sharing a site that is relevant as our site. our site, where you will get more information about essay writing service
  5. Lauren J Mejia
    Report Abuse
    Lauren J Mejia - September 14, 2014 9:23 am
    We purely impressed soon after browsing that wonderful web site. It's well-organized website. Every one of the articles in this website is pretty beneficial. Appreciate it lots with regards to supplying this kind of kind's regarding facts. In case you are seeking the specific trustful dissertation generating support, neither realize exactly where will be the much better place to get functions online absolutely nothing as a way to take the time concerning You can help through your specialist evaluations. To learn to read much more comply with in right here pay people to write papers
  6. corsair
    Report Abuse
    corsair - September 15, 2013 11:01 am
    I attended this game with my nephew and one of his friends. It was a great night to be there. The ballpark was a perfect setting - the Centennial Bridge in the immediate background, the field was a great contrast in burnt sienna infield "dirt" against the beautiful green of the grass. The young woman who sang the National Anthem did so with only one "flare" and her clear, beautiful voice was perfect the event. The crowd was supportive and appropriate, the Bandits showed such class and talent that I could not help but just sit and enjoy the entire view. There is something for everyone at our beautiful park. Kids of all ages were having a great time and joined in with the Team following their great win. We are so blessed to live in an area with some many good people who support so many of our outstanding seemingly year long activities. Those who say there is nothing to do in our Quad Cities must not leave their houses very often. Glad to live here and all the best and well deserved kudos to the Quad City River Bandits. Way to go - all of you on the "team".
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Latest scores and more from all sports

MLB:  News | Scoreboard NFL:  News | Scoreboard NBA:  News | Scoreboard
NHL:  News | Scoreboard NCAA FB:  News | Scoreboard NCAA BK:  News | Scoreboard
Golf:  News | Leaderboard Auto Racing:  News | Results Tennis:  News | Scoreboard
Other: MLS  |  Womens NCAA BK  |  WNBA  |  CFL  |  Minor League Baseball  |  NFL Draft  |  NBA Draft